Medical Centers Pivot as Cyberattacks Proliferate

cryptolocker screenshotThe daily announcement of the latest cyberattack on a US medical center confirms that this is not a random, infrequent event.

Medical centers which, up until now, have focused all the IT attention on making data readily available to all parties are now quickly pivoting 180 degrees to protecting their data from aggressive hacking attempts.

Those of you who deal with websites know that the pace of penetration attacks across the web have increased dramatically.  You too likely spend proportionately more time on defense now than before.

Why has this pace of attack quickened now?

There is speculation that hackers previously supported by various governments such as China, are now supporting themselves by mercenary hacking which is proving profitable.  The hackers’ success, no doubt, prompts more hackers into the business.

Medical centers are easy prey to hackers because of the decentralized and vulnerable systems which comprise their networks.

One of my prior articles, for example, highlighted the vulnerabilities of internet enabled but undefended medical devices (click here).

On a recent project involving software for making medical information available to any and all (legitimate) parties including medical staff as well as patients, not once in my hundreds of conversations with the major systems vendors did anyone mention security.

This is not to say that the systems didn’t have security features but security was apparently not deemed important enough to mention.

Well, that was last month.  My guess is that now, security is a topic of discussion.

Amid the daily articles announcing the latest hacks, there are helpful articles, such as this one carried on HealthcareITNews (click here) to help your organization address security vulnerabilities.

I suspect this is just the first of a major wave of cyberattacks.  HIT security will likely now get the attention is should have gotten.  But how many more medical centers will fall prey before there’s a widespread and effective solution?