On December 22, 2020, Minnesota-based Lake Region Healthcare discovered ransomware had been deployed on its network and the attackers gained access to its databases. The attack caused disruption to daily processes and procedures at its offices in Fergus Falls, Battle Lake, Ashby, and Barnesville.
They moved swiftly to mitigate the attack and implemented their downtime procedures that had been developed for situations such as ransomware attacks. Consequently, there was no significant interruption to patient services as a result of the cyberattack.
An external firm of cybersecurity specialists was contracted to help with the investigation and discover the extent of the breach. This investigation is continuing but there does not appear to have been any exfiltration of data prior to the use of ransomware to encrypt files.
The majority of databases affected by the attack are now back online and day-to-day procedures are running smoothly again; however, patients have been advised to get in touch with the hospital to confirm their existing appointments.
Ransomware Attack Delays EHR Rollout at University of Vermont Health Network
On October 28, 2020 major disruption was caused by a ransomware attack on the Burlington, VT-based University of Vermont Health Network.
The attempts to address this attack have already taken many weeks, and while most systems are now back online, the attack is still having an effect on operations. A number of applications are still not online and delays are still being experienced in a number of departments such as radiology. In the aftermath of the attack, the health system said it was costing around $1.5 million in lost revenue on a daily basis.
The disruption caused by the attack has also resulted in a delay in the planned enterprise-wide rollout of the next phase of its new Epic EHR system. The new EHR system is b implemented to replace a patchwork of internal applications for collaboration between hospitals in the network that are, at present, not completely integrated.
UVM president and CEO, John Brumsted, M.D said: “In 2020, our network, like those across the world, experienced tremendous challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only to be further encumbered by a ransomware attack.”. The rollout of the new EHR system has been delayed by between four and eight months.