Ransomware Attack on Community Medical Centers Healthcare Network: What Happened And How Could It Be Prevented?

January 2023

Across the healthcare field, data security is a top priority. From HIPAA laws designed to secure sensitive patient data to other safeguards, healthcare facilities have a responsibility to keep them safe. Unfortunately, there is simply too much information to take advantage of in the healthcare field — and hackers are doing just that.

At ReliableSite, we’ve frequently discussed the necessity of dedicated servers and other security safeguards in healthcare. While the industry has made some strides, there is still a severe need for change, which is apparent by recent healthcare data breaches affecting California’s Community Medical Centers Healthcare (CMC) Network.

What Happened at California’s Community Medical Centers Healthcare Network?

In October of 2021, CMC discovered a major data breach that compromised the data of more than 650,000 patients in their system. Consequently, this data breach forced CMC’s communications systems offline for more than three weeks. It was later discovered that an unauthorized user had gained access to CMC’s internal systems and had compromised the names, addresses, medical records, birthdates, and even Social Security numbers of hundreds of thousands of patients.

As a result of this attack, CMC is now offering free identity monitoring services to all affected patients. However, the long-term damage to this medical center’s reputation and patient trust will likely be felt for many years to come.

Overarching Ransomware Problems in the Healthcare Sector

The attack on CMC’s communications system is just one example of ongoing ransomware attacks on the healthcare industry. Throughout 2021, numerous cyberattacks were carried out against medical centers across the globe, including an attack on a nonprofit in Seattle, Sea Mar Community Health Center, that provided attackers unauthorized access to patient medical records & other personal information.

These cyberattacks aren’t just confined to the United States, either. Globally, healthcare facilities are being targeted and falling victim to significant cyberattacks. As recently as October of 2021, the Canadian healthcare system in Newfoundland and Labrador had its systems brought down for several days due to cyberattacks. Fortunately, no patient data was compromised during these attacks.

How to Prevent Data Breaches in Healthcare Industries 

More than ever, it is imperative for healthcare organizations and private facilities to have safeguards and redundancies in place to protect against these kinds of attacks. Perhaps the easiest and most effective step that your healthcare business can take is to switch to a dedicated server for your facility if you haven’t done so already.

Specifically, a dedicated server for healthcare provides secure, off-site hosting at a third-party data center with plenty of redundancies and physical security measures in place. On top of that, with a ReliableSite dedicated server, you’ll enjoy additional security features that include free standard DDoS protection and much more.

Now is not the time to make compromises when it comes to your healthcare server security. Contact ReliableSite today to learn more about our healthcare hosting options and dedicated server security measures.