How Not to Pay to Ransomware! The Biggest Mistake of the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center

If you’ve seen the news lately, maybe you read that a Los Angeles hospital paid a ransom of nearly $17,000 in bitcoins to hackers because “paying was in the best interest of the hospital and most efficient way to solve the problem,” according to the medical center’s chief executive, Allen Stefanek.

So what really happened?

The hospital was hit by Ransomware, a type of malware that blocks access to files and systems until a ransom is paid. The first example of ransomware happened on September 5, 2013, when Cryptolocker was unleashed. It quickly affected many systems with hackers requiring users to pay money for the decryption keys.

When systems are down, and the files encrypted, patients’ lives are literally at stake – paying was the only decision the CEO could make – it’s understandable.

The question then becomes this: What could the CEO, CIO and IT department of the hospital have done differently before the attack happened?

The answer is actually quite simple. Moreover, the solution has been around for decades.

The answer is Backup!

To be exact, the hospital should have implemented full system backup based on disk imaging technology to protect all their systems prior to any Ransomware attack taking place.

Then, if ransomware strikes, the hospital could simply recover the affected systems from the latest backup image. That would take less than a day. No ransom would need to be paid. And lives would be saved!

Some may argue that full image backup can be expensive, and only critical systems need to be protected in this way. However, can you think of any non-critical system in a hospital? For example, even a single PC can allow hospitals to obtain prescriptions, and save lives.

Don’t be a victim of Ransomware

If you are a CIO, IT Manager or a Helpdesk manager responsible for your organization’s IT infrastructure, protect your entire infrastructure from the ominous threat of Ransomware with an easy, complete, safe and reliable disk imaging backup solution. Only then you can be sure that you will not pay ransom – ever!

To learn more, check out this infographic that describes how to protect your systems from Ransomware.