Adam Adler (Miami, FL): Ransomware attacks threaten U.S hospitals and healthcare systems.
Adam Adler (Miami, FL): Ransomware attacks threaten U.S hospitals and healthcare systems. As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to climb nationwide, hospitals are now fighting against a new threat after the FBI issued a warning last month saying hospitals and healthcare systems may be a target of ransomware attacks.
Healthcare providers and other healthcare industry actors should heed carefully the government’s warnings and ensure their respective organizations are prepared in the event of a ransomware attack. For instance, organizations should ensure that they maintain and continuously evaluate business continuity plans to identify continuity gaps. The Joint Cybersecurity Advisory places particular importance on maintaining offline, encrypted backups of data and the need to test these backups regularly. After all, as the Advisory notes, “there is no need to pay a ransomware for data that is readily accessible to your organization.” The CISA, FBI, and HHS further encourage organizations to:
implement applications and remote access to allow only systems to execute programs known and permitted by the established security policy;
identify critical assets such as patient database servers, medical records, and telehealth and telework infrastructure, creating backups of such systems that are housed offline from the network;
focus on awareness and training for employees and stakeholders on cybersecurity threats, such as phishing scams;
ensure employees know who to contact when they see suspicious activity or when they believe they have been a victim of a cyberattack;
create, maintain, and exercise a cyber incident response plan; and
develop a risk management plan that maps critical healthcare services and care to the necessary information systems.
RECENT NEWS: Hackers have stolen the data of a large cosmetic surgery chain and are threatening to publish patients' before and after photos, among other details.
The Hospital Group, which has a long list of celebrity endorsements, has confirmed the ransomware attack.
It said it had informed the Information Commissioner of the breach.
On its darknet webpage, the hacker group known as REvil said the "intimate photos of customers" were "not a completely pleasant sight".
It claimed to have obtained more than 900 gigabytes of patient photographs.
The Hospital Group, which is also known as the Transform Hospital Group, claims to be the UK's leading specialist weight loss and cosmetic surgery group.
It has 11 clinics specializing in bariatric weight loss surgery, breast enlargements, nipple corrections, and nose adjustments.
The company has previously promoted itself via celebrity endorsements, although it has not done so for several years.
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