Researchers found the total cost far exceeded the amount of ransom paid to attackers.

Ransomware attacks have cost US healthcare organizations more than $157 million since 2016, and that’s only counting ransomware that had an impact on more than 500 people. And according to a new report, the dollars and cents only scratch the surface of the true cost to the nation’s healthcare.

Comparitech researchers reviewed a variety of sources to correlate data on incidents compiled by different organizations. Once this data was compiled, the researchers applied that data to studies on the cost of downtime and other effects to calculate the likely total cost of ransomware.

The researchers looked at 172 ransomware attacks that hit a total of 1,446 healthcare organizations. They found that the downtime, which ranged from hours to months, had an impact on 6,649,713 patients. And the total impact of roughly $157 million was far in excess of the approximately $640,000 paid to attackers in the time period studied.

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