Hospitals Weigh Cost Of Fortifying Cybersecurity In Wake Of Ransomware Attacks
Cybersecurity experts say that business is booming as hospitals consider upgrades to their information systems. Meanwhile, health institutions and medical schools in Maryland are teaming up to try to block potential hacks.
Ransomware Scare: Will Hospitals Pay For Protection?
Healthcare organizations, for a variety of good and bad reasons, are slow to adopt and update their information technology. And the cybercriminals know it. As hospital IT teams spend much of their time and money figuring out how to meaningfully deploy electronic health records and harness the data for emerging payment and delivery models, the bad guys continue to hone their technology and calibrate their attacks, creating boom times for data defenders. With at least six hospitals targeted in the past month, healthcare leaders are scrambling for protection. These available wares include legal services, security consultancy, training, systems testing, cyber insurance, security software that runs on and defends computer systems, and remote-hosted software and services that can include fully staffed security operations centers that provide computerized and human watchdogs on the lookout for cyberthreats 24/7. (Conn, 4/9)
The Baltimore Sun:
Maryland Health Institutions Join Forces To Combat Cyberattacks
At least six major health systems across the country have suffered debilitating cyberattacks this year, including most recently Columbia-based MedStar Health. The rate has unsettled health system information technology administrators who are now working together to block future attacks. (Cohn, 4/10)
In other health technology news —
A Fitbit Saved His Life? Well, Maybe
Wearing a Fitbit? If so, you already know that electronic fitness trackers can let you keep records on your smartphone of how many steps you've walked, how much you've slept, maybe your heart rate, or even where you've been. But what can the gadget tell your doctor? A few things that are pretty useful, it turns out. Doctors at an emergency room in New Jersey recently used heart-rate data from a patient's Fitbit to quickly figure out what treatment he needed to get his suddenly irregular heartbeat under control. They published the case study online this month in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. (Kodjak, 4/11)