What you need to know about ransomware

February 3, 2022  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources

Who is a target for ransomware? 

Universities, health care systems and governments are the biggest targets for ransomware, but it can also hit corporations and individuals. 

Increased presence and impact of ransomware in the U.S. and health care sector 

U.S. (overall): 158% increase 

Health care: 400% increase 

Negative consequences of ransomware infections

  • Victim health care organizations are experiencing 4–6-week digital system outages, disrupting delivery of care, and research operations 
  • Temporary or permanent loss of sensitive or proprietary information  
  • Financial losses incurred to restore systems and files  
  • Potential harm to an organization’s reputation 

How is ransomware spread? 

Infected email attachments, phishing email linking to downloads and shared documents/files can all be used to spread ransomware. 

Why is ransomware effective? 

Threat actors use ransomware to employ fear and panic tactics, hoping readers will click on a link or pay a ransom. Below are some examples that have been used: 

  • “Your computer has been infected with a virus, click here to resolve the issue.” 
  • “Your computer was used to visit websites with illegal content. You must pay a $100 fine to unlock your computer.”
  • “Files on your computer have been encrypted.? If you want your files, you will need to pay a fee to have them unlocked.”

Protect yourself and Michigan Medicine from ransomware 

  • Back up data securely to a separate device. 
  • Don’t open unexpected email attachments or shared documents. 
  • Inspect links in emails before clicking. 
  • Don’t download or run files from unknown sites. 
  • Keep your software and devices up-to-date. 

What do I do if I receive a ransomware threat? 

Immediately contact the HITS Service Desk for assistance: 

CLICK: hits.medicine.umich.edu 

CALL: 734-936-8000 

Additional resources: 

Email ia-edawareness@umich.com to see how we can help you increase awareness for your team.

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