On Easter morning in April, region 3 Behavioral Health Services in Kearney was the target of a cyberattack.
The agency was infected with ransomware, which demanded $5,000 in payment, according to Administrator Beth Baxter.
The agency’s cyber insurance was used to pay the ransom.
At Region 3, nothing like this had ever happened before, despite the fact that the agency was prepared for it, according to Baxter.
“If something like this happened, we had systems in place and a strategy,” Baxter said. “We were well-prepared to cope with it.” It was simply more complex than a small group could handle on its own.”
The experience has strengthened the agency.
“It’s helped us update our systems so that we’re far more prepared to deal with anything like this in the future,” Baxter added.
Region 3 migrated its emails from an exchange server to a secure cloud-based system as part of the post-attack modifications.
To help prevent further intrusions, four additional firewalls were installed.
The systems were installed by Region 3 in collaboration with Intellicom, a Kearney-based IT firm.
Kearney, Grand Island, and Hastings, as well as several rural settlements, are served by Region 3.
Cyberattacks are more likely to hit such health-care institutions.
Other agencies and organisations, according to Baxter, should invest in anti-terrorist measures.