Posted by: on May 22, 2024 at 8:36 am

Protect Your Business Against Ransomware: Insights from the Ascension Ransomware Attack

If you live in Michigan you’ve probably heard about Ascension, a major healthcare provider. The recent ransomware attack on Ascension has highlighted the critical need for cybersecurity measures in the healthcare field. As IT professionals we understand the importance of protecting your business against threat like these. Here’s a closer look at the incident and why safeguarding your systems is so crucial.

The Ascension Ransomware Attack: What Happened?

On May 8, 2024, Ascension detected unusual activity on their computer network, which was later confirmed to be a ransomware attack. This cyberattack forced many of Ascension’s 140 hospitals to divert ambulances, postpone medical tests, and revert to paper documentation as their electronic health records (EHR) system and MyChart patient portal were taken offline​ (HIPAA Journal)​​ (WDET 101.9 FM)​​ (Medical News | MedPage Today)​.

The ransomware group Black Basta is suspected to be behind this attack. This group has been increasingly targeting healthcare organizations, stealing data before activating their malware, which paralyzes networks and demands ransom payments​. (HIPAA Journal)​. A joint cybersecurity advisory has been issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) warning the healthcare sector about the group.

The Impact on Healthcare Operations

The cyberattack has caused significant disruptions across multiple states. Hospitals in Michigan, Kansas, and Florida have reported diverted ambulances, canceled surgeries, and delayed medical procedures. Staff have been forced to use manual processes, which has slowed down operations and increased the risk of errors​ (WDET 101.9 FM)​​ (Medical News | MedPage Today)​​ (Spectrum News 1)​​ (Las Vegas Sun)​.

For detailed coverage of the attack, you can refer to CNN, Freep, and the Ascension official statement or the Ascension regional statement.

Why Cybersecurity is Critical for Healthcare

Healthcare organizations are prime targets for ransomware attacks because of the sensitive nature of the data they have. Patient records, financial information, and critical medical data are invaluable to cybercriminals. The disruption caused by these attacks can be life-threatening, like with Ascension where the ER and surgeries were affected. How can you protect your practice or small business?

Best Practices to Protect Your Business

  1. Regular Backups: Ensure that all critical data is backed up regularly and stored in a secure, off-site location. This allows for data recovery without paying ransom.
  2. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Implement MFA to add an extra layer of security for accessing systems and data.
  3. Employee Training: Regularly train staff on recognizing phishing attempts and other common cyber threats.
  4. Incident Response Plan: Develop and maintain a comprehensive incident response plan to quickly address any breaches and minimize damage.
  5. Regular Updates and Patches: Keep all software and systems updated to protect against known vulnerabilities.
  6. Cybersecurity Insurance: This type of insurance helps cover the immediate costs of responding to a cyber incident, including hiring cybersecurity experts to contain and remediate the attack, which minimizes downtime and protects your data.


The Ascension ransomware attack underscores the urgent need for airtight cybersecurity measures, especially if you are in healthcare. At TAZ Networks, we are committed to helping businesses in Southeast Michigan protect themselves against threats like these. By helping you implement best practices and staying vigilant, you can safeguard your business and ensure continuity of operations even in the face of cyberattacks.

For more information and updates on the Ascension ransomware attack, visit CNN, Freep, and Ascension’s official page.

By following these guidelines and staying informed, you can protect your business from the devastating effects of ransomware attacks. If you need assistance with your cybersecurity strategy, contact TAZ Networks today.

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