Remote Access Systems Pose Cybersecurity Risk

Attacks can impact a healthcare system’s ability to provide care.

By Jeff Wardon, Jr., Assistant Editor

Cybersecurity incidents continue to rise as the number of possible attack vectors increases. A press release from ECRI highlights one attack vector of particular interest to healthcare facilities managers: remote access systems. 

Ransomware groups are increasingly targeting vulnerable remote access systems in healthcare, causing significant disruptions, according to a press release from ECRI. These attacks can disable essential technologies and patient data access, hampering a hospital's ability to provide care. Remote access is commonly granted to employees, physicians, vendors and support personnel, creating potential entry points for hackers. 

"The consequences of these attacks can be devastating: vital medical records held hostage, treatment plans in disarray and potentially deadly delays in care," says Marcus Schabacker, president and CEO of ECRI. "Each unchecked vulnerability is a threat to patient safety." 

Related: What Role Does Facilities Management Play in Healthcare Cybersecurity?

ECRI recommends the following precautions to address ransomware attacks on remote access systems: 

  • Make sure that Internet-facing systems, such as remote access systems, are set up securely and updated regularly. 
  • Consider blocking network traffic to internet-facing systems from potential hostile foreign parties that the organization does not do business with. 
  • Regularly audit logs and traffic from remote access systems. 
  • Pay attention to other possible attack vectors, such as phishing and password cracking. 
  • Develop response procedures for ransomware situations and recovery. 
  • Keep a backup and recovery methods for all IT systems. 
  • Talk with legal counsel if a data breach or a ransom demand happens. Considering the payment of ransom will only drive future attacks. 

Jeff Wardon, Jr. is the assistant editor for the facilities market. 

April 17, 2024

Topic Area: Information Technology , Security

Recent Posts

Making Boiler Maintenance Work

By understanding industry standards, manufacturer recommendations and potential challenges, managers can ensure effective boiler maintenance.

Two Seniors Die in Hospital Murder-Suicide

The husband and wife found dead were both in their 70s.

Sutter Health to Expand Flagship Midtown Sacramento Hospital

Construction on the expansion is scheduled to begin in April 2025.

Texas to Offer Grant to Aid Operations for Rural Operations

Over 80 hospitals in Texas currently face closure.

Allina Health Opens Lakeville Specialty Center

The 100,000-square-foot center includes more than 10 specialty services.


FREE Newsletter Signup Form

News & Updates | Webcast Alerts
Building Technologies | & More!


All fields are required. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.