Clapping back at cyberattacks: How UMass Memorial balances heighted email security with operational efficiency

Becker's Hospital Review

Laura Dyrda

UMass Memorial Health Care in Worcester, Mass., took action in early November to prevent cybersecurity incidents after the federal government warned of foreign hackers targeting hospitals.

The health system placed inhibitors on external links and began scrubbing external incoming emails. It also quarantined all emails with attachments and suspicious emails. Several hospitals were hit by ransomware and other malware in September and October, with the hackers typically entering the system through emails.

"When emails come in to the 14,000 people in our system, the best thing we can do is educate them about phishing attacks," said Robin Sodano, vice president and interim CIO. "We spent time educating our providers, blitzing communication streams and telling people to think before they click. We also placed scanning software that checks links against known malicious actors and malware types before releasing the emails to our caregivers."

The health system...

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