The American health system isn’t at all ready to defend itself against cyberattack, reports the Sacramento Bee. The connectivity that enamors so many also brings with it risk. “From insulin pumps and defibrillators, and on to expensive CT scanners and MRI machines, medical devices are increasingly connected to networks,” the newspaper reports. “Patient medical records are online. When networks go down, physicians say it is like operating in the dark.”
Hackers and thieves are very much aware of this weakness and fully intend on taking advantage, the newspaper reports. One of the experts the newspaper talked to is Chris Wysopal, cofounder and chief technology officer at Veracode, a Burlington, Mass., cybersecurity firm. He cited two recent cyberattacks: the WannaCry digital worm that hit in March and Petya in June, both of which damaged the health care industry.
Wysopal told the newspaper: “Every time we see something successful like WannaCry abd Petya, you see other actors learning from that rather quickly, and they are able to replicate that style of attack.”
The hackers, working for hostile nations or criminal gangs, can attack hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, patient records, and even medical devices.
In late June, Merck was hit with a massive cyberattack that disabled the company’s computer systems across the globe.
Christian Dameff, MD, an expert on cyber vulnerabilities, predicts a dire onslaught. “We’re going to have our digital D-Day, our cyber D-Day, if you will, in medical, and there’s going to be patients that die. It’s going to be a big deal.”
Source: Sacramento Bee