Nonprofit provides help to hospitals battling ransomware

Protect yourself from online attacks that threaten your identity, your files, your system, and your financial well-being.

The Center for Internet Security recently launched a free tool for private U.S. hospitals to block malicious activity.


Wavebreakmedia, Getty Images/iStockphoto

In spite of how critical they have become during the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals have been forced to deal with a barrage of ransomware attacks over the last year. A Comparitech report found that there were 92 separate ransomware attacks in 2020 that had an effect on more than 600 US clinics, hospitals and organizations. More than 18 million patient records were exposed and the report estimates that nearly $21 billion was lost in these attacks in 2020.  

Dozens of hospitals across the world have been locked out of important digital systems by attackers leveraging technology against those who need it most, forcing healthcare enterprises to make the tough choice of paying a ransom or potentially losing millions of patient files and more. Authorities in Germany even confirmed that one ransomware attack led to the death of a woman in September. 

But help is one the way thanks to the nonprofit Center for Internet Security’s new Malicious Domain Blocking and Reporting Service. The tool, unveiled in February, is a no-cost ransomware protection service for private hospitals in the U.S. that may not be able to afford a robust cybersecurity service. 

SEE: Identity theft protection policy (TechRepublic Premium)

Ed Mattison, executive vice president of CIS operations and security services, said in an interview that the service is being offered with the help of Akamai’s Enterprise Threat Protector edge security service, which proactively blocks network requests from an organization to known harmful web domains, helping limit infections related to known malware, ransomware, phishing and other cyber threats.

“85% of ransomware attacks could be prevented in your organization if you were using MDBR because 85% of ransomware attacks are done using known ransomware domains,” Mattison said. …