Local tech firm rolls out $1M ransomware protection guarantee

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LifeOmic Inc., a fledgling Indianapolis-based tech company that provides cloud storage to medical users, is trying to make a rapid splash in the health care IT industry by offering what its says is an unprecedented marketing promise.

Founded by prominent local tech entrepreneur Don Brown less than a year ago, LifeOmic on Tuesday announced that it would guarantee that private data stored on its cloud-based LifeOmic Precision Medicine Platform would receive guaranteed protection from cyber attacks and ransomware breaches.

Under the guarantee, LifeOmic said it would reimburse up to $1 million per customer for certain data losses due to unauthorized account activity.       

LifeOmic’s cloud services provide long-term storage, retrieval, analysis and clinical use of genomic and other digital information that is used in precision medicine.

Health care businesses, especially hospitals, have become a leading target for ransomware schemes.

Earlier this year, the WannaCry ransomware virus targeted about 300,000 machines in 150 countries, and more than 48 United Kingdom medical facilities were infected by the virus.

LifeOmic said clients would be required to adopt recommended data-protection security practices to qualify for the guarantee, but “in the highly improbable event that that a customer’s data becomes unrecoverable or its integrity is irreversibly compromised as a result of a security breach due    to no fault of their own, LifeOmic is responsible for any financial extortion payment or service reimbursement for up to $1 million per customer.”

Hospitals are often vulnerable to ransomware attacks because they are full of equipment that uses older technology and outdated software. Health care providers also are quicker to pay up during ransomware attacks because they don’t want to endanger patients.

A recent report by tech security research organization Ponemon Institute estimated health care institutions would lose $1.3 billion in 2017 to cyber attacks.

“It’s no secret that ransomware attacks against health care organizations have skyrocketed in recent years,” Brown said in written comments. “Exploits such as WannaCry have become a huge impediment in the health care industry, and existing health care IT approaches offer little protection.

“LifeOmic is raising the bar—health data must be ultra-secure, and our cloud platform was specifically designed from the ground up to meet modern cybersecurity needs and be protected from whatever virus, malware or hacker might come for it.”

Brown, the founder of former Indianapolis-based tech firms Software Artistry and Interactive Intelligence, has pumped about $20 million of his own money into LifeOmic, and he has hired several employees from his former companies to help run it.

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