Resources for healthcare cybersecurity

Disaster Health Information

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This time last week, had you heard of WannaCry? Probably not.

Today we all know the name of the malicious software (malware) that was deployed May 12 in an ongoing cyber-attack. WannaCry is a type of malware known as ransomware. The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) has a basic overview of ransomware:

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that infects a computer and restricts users’ access to it until a ransom is paid to unlock it.” US-CERT says the impacts of ransomware include:

  •  temporary or permanent loss of sensitive or proprietary information,
  • disruption to regular operations,
  •  financial losses incurred to restore systems and files, and
  •  potential harm to an organization’s reputation.

US-CERT also has more detailed information about the WannaCry ransomware.

One victim of the current attack is Britain's National Health Service. Cyber-attacks can affect any industry, but they can have particularly serious repercussions for healthcare, when patient care is at risk. Even a temporary disruption to a healthcare system’s operation threatens human life. If healthcare organizations are not prepared for a major cyber-attack, the impact on public health and safety could be catastrophic.

As with any disaster—natural, cyber, or otherwise—the best protection is preparation. Here are resources to help your organization protect itself from cyber-attacks:

 

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