Combatting ransomware attacks on health care providers

John Chi

The most recent HIMSS Cybersecurity Survey found that 82% of hospital technology experts reported a “significant security incident” in the last year. More health care providers are at risk of being locked out of hospital records and even losing control over life-saving medical devices – unless they meet a hacker’s demands, monetary or otherwise.

The American Hospital Association considers a ransomware attack on a hospital to be a threat-to-life crime. Attacks like these interfere with a hospital’s ability to provide care, which puts patient safety in jeopardy. In Germany, a September attack sadly provided confirmation of the AHA’s notion; it’s believed to be the first cybercrime to lead to a patient’s death.

The demands placed on health care systems by COVID-19 have only left providers more vulnerable to cyber risks. With the increase in telehealth visits and...

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