Global Ransomware Attack and Healthcare Organizations
Organizations around the world, including Britain’s National Health Service, found their data held hostage by ransomware called WannaCry. According to news reports, 200,000 computers in more than 150 countries have been hit by the cyberattack which appears to be spread by phishing emails. To make matters worse, cybersecurity experts are warning organizations to be alert for new variants of the ransomware that may be released in the near future.
Because healthcare organizations require immediate access to patient information and typically have underfunded data security initiatives, they are particularly vulnerable to ransomware attacks.
This incident is a reminder to healthcare organizations of the importance of:
- timely applying patches for identified computer system and software vulnerabilities;
- maintaining backups of all critical systems and ensuring the backups work correctly; and
- frequently reminding employees to remain vigilant for phishing emails.
We will continue to monitor this developing story and publish updates as necessary.