After one of the country’s largest human resource management companies was attacked by ransomware, the healthcare system is struggling to manage timekeeping and employee compensation.
The December 11 cybersecurity incident affected the Ultimate Kronos Group, whose services are used by thousands of organizations, municipalities, university systems, and hospitals.
UKG Executive Vice President Bob Hughes said in a blog post on Monday that, so far, the company has determined that the attack particularly affected people using the Kronos private cloud, which includes banking and scheduling solutions. And health care expansion.
A UKG spokesperson said in a statement: “We have taken immediate action to investigate and mitigate this problem, have notified affected customers and notified the authorities, and are cooperating with leading cybersecurity experts.”
RSM’s healthcare partner Rick Kes said that most hospital staff are hourly workers, and the inability to use technology to clock in and leave work has caused major damage to the health system.
“The payroll processing for healthcare providers is much more complicated than in other industries because you have a specific type of shift difference, depending on the number of shifts you work. If you work on weekends or holidays, you will get a different rate of return,” Case said.
He said that some health systems are considering wage checks based on average wages during the wage period, although overpayment and making employees owe money is a major issue.
UKG stated that it may take several weeks for the company to restore its system availability. At the same time, it is recommended that customers collect time manually or use the UKG clock to record time offline until the connection is restored.
Currently, UKG is still investigating the nature and scope of the attack and providing support for the company’s continuity plan.
“Network security issues seem to happen frequently now,” Case said. “And not every company is 100% immune to such attacks. So it will be interesting to see the impact this will have on the decisions made by the health system, regardless of whether they continue to use Kronos or look for other technologies to use.”