A new report of a survey of around 30 midsized hospitals by the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) concludes that health care entities should be prepared for an increase in ransomware attacks in the near future.

HITRUST surveyed the hospitals in late 2015 and found that 52 percent of the hospitals were infected with malicious software, including ransomware.

Four hospitals have already recently fallen victim to ransomware—Hollywood Presbyterian, Ottawa Hospital, MedStar, and Methodist Hospital—causing significant disruption to patient care.

This report’s conclusions verify what we all have been predicting: the hackers will continue to use any means available to make a quick buck and the health care industry is an easy target. Health care entities may wish to consider preparing for a ransomware attack now, including testing their backup system and contingency operation planning and implementation.