Those in the healthcare sector are extremely vulnerable right now, as cyber attacks on hospitals and other medical industries are at an all time high. An attack can interfere with client health insurance, result in a delay in treatment, and cost an exorbitant amount of money. One such hospital is currently dealing with the aftermath of a direct attack on their network.
The University of Vermont (UVM) Health Network suffered an attack around October 25th that led to delays in patient appointments including those for chemotherapy, biopsies, and mammograms. The UVM Health Network is comprised of six hospitals with over 3,000 physicians and nurses in Vermont and New York. The FBI and Vermont National Guard have been working hard to fix the after effects of this data breach.
While the UVM Health Network was vague about what personal information may have been accessed, reports show that the attack affected the number of patients the hospital was able to admit at once. Before the attack, 45-60 patients were able to receive chemotherapy, however only 15 patients were able to following the attack.
In addition to this, the UVM Health Network’s imaging center is currently still unable to accept patients for mammograms, ultrasound screenings and biopsies. Because staff members are unable to perform work due to critical systems being down, up to 300 of the hospital staff are being furloughed or re-assigned.
The health care industry will remain a high-level target for ransomware attacks. Medical-affiliated organizations need to remain aware of how to protect their patients and employees. Lagging infrastructure and un-patched medical devices or computer networks tied to the internet remain a point of vulnerability for hackers to gain access to ePHI or an organization’s network.
Strengthening cybersecurity and combating cyber threats should be a priority for every business, even if you don’t see your industry as being at-risk. With the increased importance of online connectivity and necessity of an internet connection, threats to you or your organization are at an all-time high.
Data breaches, phishing scandals, and ransomware attacks can wipe an organization out, and create expensive, drawn out lawsuits. Don’t let your business become a cybercrime statistic.
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Written by Emily M.
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