Healthcare CIOs fear (and fend off) ransomware threats amid pandemic

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Hospital IT leaders are fending off more hackers looking to capitalize on the COVID-19 crisis for financial gain.

Healthcare CIOs fear (and fend off) ransomware threats amid pandemic

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Mt. San Rafael Hospital thwarted a ransomware attack on one of its sister facilities earlier this year before anything could be compromised. The organization is still working through the details of the hack, says CIO Michael Archuleta, whose hospital is part of the BridgeCare Health Network, which includes five hospitals in Colorado.

“It could have been a bad issue if we didn’t have the automation and intelligence to catch and stop it,” says Archuleta.

The vast majority of ransomware stems from a malicious email attachment that employees open and unwittingly propagate across a network. Attackers can use this exploit to lock up systems and demand payment to release them.

Not every organization has been so quick to catch malicious behavior. Just ask the victims caught in the 2020 SolarWinds dragnet, which infiltrated the software supply chain and spread like wildfire across thousands of businesses and government agencies, including the US State Department. The global pandemic has proved to be a fertile opportunity for perpetrators to unleash cybersecurity attacks against every industry grappling with impacts of COVID-19 on their businesses.

Healthcare is ripe for cyberattack

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