Ascension Health System Cyberattack

Ascension Health System Cyberattack

Giovanni Rossi
2 min read

Major Cyberattack Hits Ascension, Leading to Hospital System Disruptions

On May 8, 2024, Ascension, a non-profit Catholic health system overseeing 140 hospitals and 40 senior living facilities in 19 states, faced a cyberattack that disrupted its hospital systems and clinical operations. This resulted in the disruption of patient scheduling, prescription writing, and digital patient records, compelling medical staff to revert to paper records. Ascension has enlisted the services of Mandiant to scrutinize the incident and potentially notify affected patients if sensitive information was compromised. This event is the latest in a series of cybercrimes targeting the healthcare sector, following UnitedHealth's ransomware attack earlier this year.

Key Takeaways

  • Ascension, a leading US healthcare provider, grappled with a cyberattack on May 8, impacting crucial hospital systems.
  • The attack led to disruptions in clinical operations and system accessibility, prompting staff to resort to backup procedures.
  • Business partners were advised to temporarily cease connections to Ascension's environment to mitigate potential risks.
  • Some facilities, including a hospital in Wichita, Kansas, were adversely affected by a ransomware attack.
  • Mandiant has been engaged by Ascension to aid in the investigative and remediation processes and to alert relevant authorities and patients if sensitive information was compromised.


The cyberattack on Ascension, a prominent US healthcare provider, underscores the escalating cyber threats targeting healthcare institutions. Following UnitedHealth's ransomware attack, this incident sheds light on the sector's susceptibility. The immediate ramifications include operational disruptions, such as challenges in patient scheduling and prescription writing, leading to a reliance on paper records. Entities like Mandiant, specializing in cybersecurity and incident response, are likely to experience heightened demand.

In the long term, this event may trigger the implementation of more stringent regulations and security measures across the healthcare industry. Ascension's business partners could face financial losses due to the temporary suspension of connections. Additionally, entities and financial instruments supporting healthcare, such as HCA Healthcare and the Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV), may encounter fluctuations in value. Ultimately, patients may experience reduced access to healthcare services and potential data breaches, emphasizing the imperative need for enhanced cybersecurity measures in the sector.

Did You Know?

  • Ascension: A significant US-based healthcare provider with a vast network encompassing 140 hospitals and 40 senior living facilities across 19 states. The organization is committed to delivering high-quality, compassionate care to patients by integrating advanced medical technologies with a strong dedication to spiritual and personal needs.
  • Cyberattack: An illicit attempt to breach a network or system to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data, disrupt operations, or cause harm. Cyberattacks manifest in various forms, including phishing, malware, ransomware, and denial-of-service attacks. In this instance, the attack impacted a portion of Ascension's hospital systems, causing disruptions in clinical operations and system accessibility.
  • Mandiant: A prominent cybersecurity firm specializing in incident response, threat intelligence, and proactive cyber defense services. Mandiant aids organizations in identifying, investigating, and mitigating cyber threats, providing crucial support during and after a security breach. In the context of Ascension's cyberattack, Mandiant has been enlisted to aid in the investigation, remediation process, and potential notification of authorities and affected patients in the event of compromised sensitive information.

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