Alabama DCH Health System

On Tuesday, the DCH Health System in Alabama announced they were suffering from a ransomware attack. The attack on DCH froze computer systems throughout their facilities and left them with limited access. Consequently, all hospitals within the DHC Health System began turning away new patients.

The DCH press release stated:

Local ambulances have been instructed to take patients to other hospitals if at all possible. Patients who come to our emergency departments may be transferred to another hospital when they are stabilized.

DCH canceled some surgeries and procedures scheduled for Tuesday. Fortunately, their downtime procedures have allowed them to continue since Wednesday.

This attack comes immediately after ransomware hit multiple hospitals across Victoria, Australia. However, the two attacks appear to be unrelated. Federal authorities are assisting DCH with the recovery process.

California Medical Practice Closing

In August, a ransomware attack also hit Wood Ranch Medical in Simi Valley, California. After infecting their servers, the attack encrypted all patient data including backup drives. With no backups, this prevented any possibility of data recovery.

Wood Ranch Medical’s website announced details of the attack along with their decision to close permanently.

We cannot rebuild our medical records. We will be closing our practice and ceasing operations on December 17, 2019. As much as I have enjoyed providing medical care to you, I will not be able to attend to you professionally after that date.

A similar incident occurred in Michigan this past April. Brookside ENT and Hearing Center lost all patent records during a ransomware attack. After refusing to pay the ransom, the attacker deleted their data. Rather than attempt to rebuild the practice, the owners decided to retire early and close their practice.

Senate Working on Law to Help Fight Ransomware Attacks

The importance of ransomware targets has grown over the last year.  August also saw a coordinated ransomware strike that hit 22 Texas local governments. Cities have been sent back in time technologically. Consequently, these attacks have caught the eye of the U.S. government.

Just this week, the Senate passed the “DHS Cyber Hunt and Incident Response Teams Act.” In its current form, the law would authorize the Department of Homeland Security to develop “incident response teams.” These teams would offer assistance to public and private entities in the event of a ransomware attack.

Next, the bill heads to the House of Representatives. The House passed a similar bill last year, called the “DHS Cyber Incident Response Teams Act of 2018.” According to Senators, the House should be able to pass a reconciled version of the two bills.

Don’t Bet on the DHS

Government attention may help capture cybercriminals down the road. However, a DHS Incident and Response Team wouldn’t have helped Wood Ranch Medical or Brookside ENT and Hearing Center. A response team can’t replace a well-formed disaster recovery plan. If either practice had one, they wouldn’t be closing.

When it comes to your data, don’t hope for the best. Plan for the worst. With a proper disaster recovery plan, you can know your organization will recover from any attack. That can be the difference between keeping your doors open or closing them permanently. Not sure where you’re at? Let Pit Crew IT Services analyze your current disaster recovery plan. Just request a free consultation below to get started.

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