Pipeline Cyber Attack Rekindles Threat to Healthcare

By Dan Hounsell
May 13, 2021

The cyber attack that recently shut down a key oil pipeline is creating renewed urgency among healthcare IT managers to step up measures to protect valuable patient and research data from hackers.

Federal officials across multiple agencies continue to warn of an increased and imminent cyber threat against hospitals and health care systems across the country, according to ABC 11. A 22-page alert issued in the fall now takes on an added urgency after a major ransomware attack shut down a key fuel pipeline that transports about 45 percent of all fuel consumed on the East Coast.

Healthcare data can include everything from medical histories of patients, personal identifications and billing information. Potentially more valuable, however, is a hospital network that powers MRI machines, nurse stations and emergency departments. On May 1, a cyber attack shut down operations at a hospital in San Diego, underscoring the public safety threat that could ensue if a cyberattack proves successful.

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Topic Area: Information Technology


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