October 20th – In New York, two hospitals are diverting patients to other facilities due to cyber attacks. The incidents affect systems at HealthAlliance Hospital, in Kingston, and at Mountainside Residential Care Center, both of which are part of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network.
Authorities are investigating the incidents, as is an independent cyber security firm. Across the past few months, several similar attacks have forced hospitals in other states to take computer systems offline and to send those in need of care to other locations.
Cyber attacks, healthcare
Across the past four weeks, an average of 1 in 29 healthcare organizations in the U.S. were affected by ransomware attacks, according to Check Point Research.
“Recent ransomware attacks against healthcare providers have emphasized that cyber security is essential to patient care and safety,” says Cindi Carter, Global CISO for Check Point.
Cyber security experts note that hospitals are considered high-value targets among cyber criminals due to the highly sensitive personal information that their databases contain.
A prevention-first approach
In the wake of recent cyber security threats, healthcare organizations are advised to pursue an in-depth, prevention-first approach to cyber security.
This translates to a proactive cyber security strategy, involving multiple layers of security, comprehensive cyber security policies, employee training, access controls, incident response plans, and compliance with data protection regulations, like HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).
In essence, a prevention-first approach to healthcare security protects the integrity of data and the availability of healthcare services. It’s essential in safeguarding privacy and maintaining trust within the healthcare system.
For more insights into healthcare and cyber security, please see CyberTalk.org’s past coverage:
- Artificial intelligence in cyber security and healthcare
- 10 best practices: How to prevent cyber attacks in healthcare settings
- Powerful cloud security for top-tier cloud-based care
- A CISO’s guide to resilience, as enabled through cybersecurity
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