A computer outage at Universal Health Services Inc. (UHS) threw its facility into chaos recently, according to an article on the ABC News website.
Treatment interruptions caused by the computer outage were blamed on an IT “security issue,” according to a UHS statement.
UHS workers described longer emergency room waits and anxiety over how to determine which patients might be infected with COVID-19.
Hackers have been increasingly targeting healthcare facilities during the pandemic, infecting networks with malicious code that scrambles data. To unlock it, they demand payment.
There has been a significant increase in ransomware attempts against organizations responding to the pandemic, according to an article on the Built website.
The pandemic pushed hospital staff that were able to work remotely — departments like vendor support and administration — into the home office. Healthcare cybersecurity experts usually urge keeping as much activity inside the firewall of the facility as possible.