Ascension Ransomware attack occurred due to employee mistake

Ascension, which fell victim to a ransomware attack in the initial week of May, swiftly initiated an investigation to address the circulating speculations in the media. Sources indicate that the attack transpired when hackers exploited the network after an employee inadvertently downloaded a malicious file, inadvertently granting access to the perpetrators.

Upon thorough examination, it was determined that the employee’s action was unintentional, devoid of any malicious intent towards customers or company affiliates.

Further scrutiny uncovered that the breach originated from a social engineering maneuver, where the hacker acquired company network credentials from a staff member.

Proactive measures such as employee training and awareness programs can significantly mitigate the risk of such attacks. Additionally, the implementation of threat monitoring solutions and multi-factor authentication mechanisms is crucial.

In a bid to uphold its reputation and reassure customers, Ascension Healthcare is extending free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to all customers and partners, irrespective of whether they were directly affected by the incident or not. Such gestures often serve to rebuild trust and retain customer loyalty, particularly in an era where digital assaults can lead to business closures.

Ascension Hospital has also engaged law enforcement agencies to expedite resolution and is actively monitoring the internet to prevent the sale of compromised information on the dark web, recognizing the potential for further harm to affected individuals, given the sensitivity of personal data involved.

Prior to this incident, Ascension faced scrutiny in November 2019 for sharing healthcare data of its patients with Google to enhance its AI-driven projects.

Following this latest breach, a resident of Hays County has initiated legal proceedings against Ascension, alleging negligence in safeguarding customer data from ransomware criminals associated with BlackBasta.

Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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