Lehigh Valley Health Network is the latest healthcare system to fall prey to Russian ransomware gangs, with the breach of patient records at one of its physician practices in Lackawanna County, PA. According to a report published by The Morning Call, a group called BlackCat gained access to patient radiologic imaging files and threatened to release them publicly unless Lehigh Valley paid an unnamed ransom. They refused and are working with cybersecurity specialists to tighten …Read More
More Healthcare System Hacks Indicate a Need for More Focus on Cybersecurity
At least 17 health systems—many of whom include urgent care operations among their clinical assets—from New Hampshire to Los Angeles are wrestling with the aftermath of a major cyberattack launched the Russian hacker group Killnet, according to the technology company BetterCyber. Both University of Michigan Health and Atrium Health toldBecker’s Hospital Review that patient information and portals were not compromised, but the fact that any breach at all succeeded is cause for concern. This latest …Read More
Ransomware Attacks Doubled in Just 5 Years. Are Your Preventive Measures Keeping Pace?
If it seems like you’ve been reading more than ever about ransomware attacks in JUCM News and elsewhere, there’s a good reason: A new study released by JAMA Health Forum reveals that the annual number of healthcare ransomware attacks doubled over a 5-year period, from 43 attacks in 2016 to 91 in 2021. In total, 342 attacks exposed the personal health information of nearly 42 million patients. While hospitals were the most likely targets, statistically, …Read More
New Threats Are Putting Sensitive Patient Information at Risk. Are Your Records Safe?
A pair of high-profile incidents should serve as a sharp reminder to always keep cybersecurity in mind when conducting or promoting your business online. First, as reported by the Washington Post, hospitals and health systems that employ Twitter’s advertising pixel could inadvertently be sending sensitive information back to the social media company, with a high risk that the data could be shared with entities that have invested heavily in Twitter. According to the WaPo article, …Read More
Australia Learned Too Late: By the Time You’re Hacked, You’re at the Mercy of the Criminals
Australia is in the midst of a major data breach crisis after the health records of millions of Aussies were released on the dark web by hackers demanding undisclosed ransom. According to an article published online by Gizmodo, Australian insurance provider Medibank negotiated with the unknown hackers before ultimately deciding not to pay—at which point the cybercriminals put private medical information online. The group, which cybersecurity experts are calling BlogXX, appears to be running a …Read More
Another Ransomware Attack Has Threatened Healthcare Facilities. Are You Taking Precautions?
A ransomware attack threw CommonSpirit Health hospitals into disarray recently, leaving electronic health record systems useless and wreaking havoc on understaffed emergency rooms, according to a report from Becker’s Health IT. The company said it was working to determine the depth and effect of the attack. There was no word on who was responsible for the attack or what the end objective may be. The best time to assess the level of risk with any …Read More
Patient Records Have Been Taken Hostage at a Texas Hospital. Ensure Your System Is Secure
OakBend Medical Center in Richmond, TX is scrambling to deal with a ransomware attack by a group calling itself Daixin Team. As reported by the online tech news publication The Register, the attack initially shut down the hospital’s communication and IT systems and “stole” more than 1 million patient records. It’s unclear what the group’s demands or intentions are, though they’ve threatened to release a “full leak” of the data. The threat of cyber crime …Read More
A Chicago Urgent Care Center Just Got Hit with a Data Breach. Take Steps to Lower Your Risk
A Chicago urgent care operator is the latest healthcare facility to be the target of a data breach with the potential to expose the healthcare records and other sensitive information of more than a hundred thousand patients. It’s believed that the breach, which is thought to have occurred over several days in May, was the result of hackers intentionally trying to access the system. While the potential consequences of that to patients are obvious, don’t …Read More
Be Aware: ‘Big Tech’ Could Be Mining Your Systems for Sensitive Patient Information
A class action lawsuit filed by a John Doe plaintiff alleges that Meta, parent company of Facebook, has been peeking into the records of at least 644 hospital systems or “medical provider web properties.” As reported in Healthcare Dive, the suit comes on the heels of an investigative report by The Markup and Stat News that revealed specific instances in which Meta’s Pixel tracking tool dug up highly sensitive patient information that winds up in …Read More
Want Patients to Know When and Where to Find You? Make Sure You’re Up to Date on Your Web Presence
A patient Googles “urgent care near me” and sees your location among the top three results. Even better, they see that your center is on their way home and open until 8. And yet, when they get to your place at 7:25 they find the posted hours say you closed at 7. Here’s the problem in this hypothetical—but very real life—scenario: Even if your website is up to date web crawlers can still “find” and …Read More