Idaho Hospitals Divert Ambulances after Cyber Attack

Cyber Security, Newsletter

Earlier this week Idaho Falls Community Hospital, an established healthcare centre in eastern Idaho, was forced to divert ambulances to alternate hospitals for over a day due to a significant cyber attack on the hospital which was confirmed by the hospital spokesperson to news network CNN on Wednesday, May 31st. This incident adds to a growing list of targeted attacks on healthcare centres, which highlights a significant challenge to the sector’s digital security.

The cyber attack occurred on Monday, causing substantial disruption to the usual operation of the 88-bed hospital. Medical professionals, including doctors and nurses, were resorted to using traditional pen-and-paper methods to record patient charts, according to hospital spokesperson Brian Ziel. Despite the obstacles created by this cyber attack, the hospital has maintained its commitment to patient care, stating that staff are reportedly “working around the clock” to fully restore the digital systems and ensuring their ability to meet patients’ needs effectively.

As of yet, it remains unclear the method of attack which was used against the hospital or if it is like similar recent attacks which involved ransomware, a form of malicious software that locks and encrypts computer systems until a ransom is paid, or if patient data remains secure. Ziel noted that he was unaware of any ransom demand directed at the hospital. The healthcare systems in multiple countries including the US, Australia and elsewhere in Europe have experienced a surge in cyber attacks and ransomware incidents over recent months, often disrupting patient care in hospitals which do not have the sufficient cyber security resources available to avoid an attack and are ill-equipped to respond.

Further details regarding when the hospital will recover from the attack and resume accepting ambulance patients remains in question. Ziel mentioned that the extent of ambulance diversion is still unclear, although he confirmed that walk-in patients continue to be received in the emergency department. The cyber attack has also affected the nearby Mountain View Hospital, which shares ownership with Idaho Falls Community Hospital. Despite the challenges they are currently facing, both hospitals remain operational, providing safe care for their patients.

Some industry professionals have speculated that many hospitals and health care providers are quietly paying ransoms to hackers in order to resume operations in a timely manner and avoid long term disruption. However, this merely highlights the need for improved Cyber Security across the industry.

How can you protect your business from similar cyber attacks, data breaches and ransomware attacks? At one2Call we work with healthcare providers, hospices, schools, manufacturing, and many more to ensure that they have the best Cyber Security in place to protect their sensitive data. Our Endpoint Detection & Response service uses advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning to monitor for unusual, suspicious or malicious activity from the result of malware, ransomware, or unauthorised access on all of your business endpoints, and block them in their tracks. To find out more about EDR click the link below or get in touch with our Cyber Security Specialists to talk about your business Cyber Security policies and strategies.

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