It has been predicted that the healthcare industry will continue to be lambasted with ransomware in 2018. It has also been predicted that attackers will move from taking sensitive information hostage to sabotage, service disruption, physical damage and malicious deletion or changes to the integrity of data. Unfortunately, the year has started off true to the predictions.

Last week, Hancock Health, located in Indiana, was hit with a ransomware attack that it describes as sophisticated and did not occur as a result of an employee opening an infected email. The attacker attempted to shut down hospital operations using a “digital padlock” to restrict access to certain parts of the hospital’s system and requested $55,000 of bitcoin as ransom, which Hancock Regional Hospital paid to get control over 1,400 files.

The attack prompted hospital officials to shut down the entire network, including turning off all computers in the hospital, physician’s offices and wellness centers. Although no appointments or procedures were attacked, the providers were forced to go back to pen and paper for charting. Its electronic medical record was back up and running two days after paying the ransom.

Hancock Health reported that it was working with the FBI, an IT security company and law enforcement. Unfortunately, security experts warn that this is just the beginning of another challenging year for the healthcare indust