How patients can protect themselves from hospital cyber attacks

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Experts say hospitals and healthcare providers are becoming the new target for hackers with an increase in cybersecurity and ransomware attacks.

INDIANAPOLIS – For the second time in weeks, Hoosier patients are caught in the middle of a cyberattack at the hospital.

The first attack happened on Eskenazi Health, where personal information was leaked to the dark web and now Johnson Memorial Health is struggling to get systems back online.

Experts say hospitals and healthcare providers are becoming the new target for hackers with an increase in cybersecurity and ransomware attacks.

“Tackling a hospital system, unlike other areas, is really like touching treasure, because so much of the information they have stored about you can be really essential in stealing your identity,” he said. said Scott Cederbaum, Director of Marketing at INE.

Currently, Cederbaum said these attacks primarily affect patient information, but they are also starting to affect care for patients with disrupted systems.

RELATED: Data Stolen In Eskenazi Cyber ​​Attack Leaked On The Dark Web

A recent trial against an Alabama hospital alleged that a baby may have died due to a ransomware attack that affected vital equipment. This is the first lawsuit alleging that someone’s death was caused in part by a hacker.

“Hospitals are more often the target of ransomware attacks. This interruption could become something more prevalent, ”Cederbaum said.

Cederbaum said that after a cybercrime, hospitals must identify which systems have been affected and which systems the attackers have access to. If they are not able to assess this quickly, it is important that they turn patients away if they think they cannot care for them properly.

There are three questions patients should ask themselves before receiving care:

  • “Are you currently facing some type of security incident or data breach?
  • “Are the critical electronic systems connected to this hospital operating without interruption? ”
  • “What critical care systems are connected to the Internet or to other systems that may be vulnerable to a ransomware attack? “

“The only way to get them used to answering these questions is to just start asking them, knowing that the answers we might get on day one might not be as good as they should be in a year,” says Cederbaum.

RELATED: FBI Investigates Cyber ​​Attack on Johnson Memorial Health

In July, Indiana adopted its “Reporting of computer incidents” law. It forces the government and public agencies, like hospitals, to report incidents within 48 hours to the state’s technology office.

Cederbaum said it was a great law, but because agencies and businesses have 48 hours, it’s still important to ask questions before receiving care.


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