In recent months, an onslaught of ransomware attacks has been directed against healthcare institutions. Kansas Heart Hospital in Wichita paid hackers a $17,000 ransom only to receive demands for a second ransom before the hijackers would release all of its data; Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles also paid a $17,000 ransom; San Diego-based Alvarado Hospital Medical Center, Chino Valley Medical Center and Desert Valley Hospital, both of which are also in Southern California, King’s Daughters’ Health in southeast Indiana, Methodist Hospital in Kentucky and Ottawa Hospital are all among the latest high-profile victims of a ransomware attack.

These incidents likely represent just the tip of the iceberg. According to a recent HIMSS study, more than half of all U.S. hospitals have been the victims of some Department of Homeland Security and Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre, along with private companies like Intel and Symantec, are all warning that the incidence of these data hijackings is skyrocketing and that the occurrences are becoming much more sophisticated.

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