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Imminent cyberthreat could disrupt hundreds of US healthcare systems

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | October 30, 2020
Cyber Security Health IT

The timing of the attack coincides with the U.S. presidential election, raising concerns about election interference. No signs of this, however, have been reported. In addition, a total of 59 U.S. healthcare systems were hit by ransomware in 2020, disrupting patient care at up to 510 facilities, reports the AP.

To help providers protect against Ryuk, CISA, FBI and HHS have issued sets of network, ransomware and user awareness best practices, as well as recommended mitigation measures, from patching operating systems to disabling remote access, to regularly backing up data and password protect backup copies offline.

“The healthcare services have an outdated approach to security awareness, education and training. With this industry adopting new and emerging technologies, the requirement to educate and train the entire workforce on a range of cyber risks and threats is urgent,” said Daniel Norman, senior solutions analyst at the Information Security Forum, in a statement. “Basic cyber hygiene standards need to be met, covering patching and updates, network segmentation, network monitoring and hardening, especially for technologies such as AI, robotics and IoT devices.”

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