Hospitals Ramp Up Cybersecurity in Shadow of Pipeline Attack

By Dan Hounsell
May 19, 2021

The cyber attack on Colonial Pipeline has had grave ramifications for the energy sector, as well as for many other industries demonstrating just how important it is to protect national infrastructure. 

In 2020, healthcare-related cyber attacks rose by 55 percent, according to Healthcare. With the rise in digitalization and healthcare becoming increasingly connected, it is also becoming more at risk of cyber crime. Cyber attacks on IoT devices surged by 300 percent in 2019 alone, accounting for more than 2.9 billion events. 

A recent survey by software security company Irdeto of senior executives at Fortune 1000-sized US companies within various Internet of Medical Things fields, revealed that ransomware attacks on hospital networks and medical devices are skyrocketing. Despite this 88 percent of medtech executives said they are not prepared for a cyber attack and only 18 percent believe the security built into their medical device products is strong. Healthcare organizations looking to protect themselves can take the following steps:

• Employ basic network security for existing medical infrastructure.

• Procure connected medical devices that employ best in class security, and keep them up to date against new threats.

• Put a plan in place with someone responsible to trigger actions and coordinate an immediate response should an issue arise.

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Topic Area: Information Technology

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