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Hospital cyber-attack worries remain

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The worries over future hospital cyber-attack incidents are still at the forefront of many minds as more recent research suggests that the industry remains vulnerable to attack.

A recent report from Imperial College London’s Institute of Global Health Innovation (IGHI) included a stark warning about the continued vulnerability for hospitals. With the healthcare sector remaining a prime target as a result of the nature of the data it stores and processes (and the volume of it), this is worrying news.

Healthcare data breach compensation claims remain one of the most common types of cases that we take forward. News that the sector remains vulnerable is a cause for concern.

Are more hospital cyber-attacks imminent?

There may be more hospital cyber-attacks similar to the 2017 WannaCry incident as yet another recent study suggests continued vulnerabilities in the healthcare sector.

It’s understood that a warning from the recent IGHI report said that hospitals, “remain vulnerable to cyber attack, and must take urgent steps to defend against threats which could risk the safety of patients.”

If you remember how bad the WannaCry incident was, you can see how any future attack could cause similar devastation. Services were severely disrupted, with appointments and routine surgeries cancelled, and NHS staff were forced to revert to inefficient pen-and-paper methods due to being locked out of computer networks.

And the cost to the NHS was thought to be in the millions.

Why are they still so vulnerable?

The continued vulnerability for hospital cyber-attack incidents likely comes down to funding, which is of course a central government issue.

There are still said to be too few experts employed by the NHS to properly maintain their cyber-security needs. There’s also still a reliance on older systems and infrastructure, which is typically more vulnerable.

The WannaCry ransomware was designed to specifically target outdated systems that are easier to break in to because the software updates eventually become redundant. When known vulnerabilities aren’t being patched, networks could be an open goal for cybercriminals.

What can you do as a victim of a hospital cyber-attack?

If you are ever the victim of a hospital cyber-attack, it’s important to know what your rights are when it comes to making a claim for medical data breach compensation.

With the nature of medical data usually being incredibly personal and sensitive, the level of distress that victims can suffer can be severe.

Data breach compensation awards are designed to reflect this as well.

And there’s such a wealth of information available for cybercriminals to exploit. There will likely always been a huge target on the back of the NHS when it comes to hacking, and data protection in the healthcare sector must always be a priority.

IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

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First published by Matthew on August 05, 2019
Posted in the following categories: Cybersecurity Healthcare Ransomware Security and tagged with | | | | | |

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