Bradley attorney Amy Leopard was quoted in Bloomberg Law on the coordinated ransomware attack that hit multiple hospitals this week. The attack, which seemed to be financially motivated, resulted in the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, FBI, and Department of Health and Human Services issuing an advisory warning the health care industry of the “increased and imminent” threat of ransomware attacks, which lock up computers until a ransom is paid for a decryption key.
Leopard said she’s seen an uptick in ransomware hits in the health care sector recently, especially among hospitals.
The nationwide shift to personal offices has increased those risks because employees now work on many different home networks that are less secure, she said. If another influx of coronavirus cases overwhelms hospitals, ransomware attacks could prove even more deadly.
“It can be a life-and-death scenario when systems go down,” Leopard said. “It’s critical that hospitals be able to share information about their patients across systems.”
Leopard added that she’s seen a “bifurcation” among providers. Many large hospitals and other health organizations already have sophisticated monitoring services, whereas smaller players may not have the resources to invest in those safeguards.
“Not only do they have enormous constraints at the moment, but they’re especially crippled with managing the virus and its financial consequences,” Leopard said.
The original article, "Hospital Ransomware Attacks Spotlight Need for Security Steps," appeared in Bloomberg Law on October 30, 2020.