Hospital CISOs to meet, prep for 'long war' against cyberattacks

Cyberattacks against hospitals and healthcare organizations have accelerated in the last few months, and experts are warning this trend is likely to continue, according to a report in The Hill.

Since July, Becker's has reported eight cyberattacks and security incidents at U.S. hospitals that forced computer systems offline. Other attacks have rattled hospitals internationally. A September attack against a German hospital forced ambulances to reroute to another institution, leading to a patient's death.

The founder of IT-focused investment firm C5 Capital André Pienaar said his organization is bringing together chief information security officers of large and small hospitals for closed-door meetings to promote cooperation and increased defense against cyberattacks.

"This is a long war, not a short war," he told The Hill.

In some cases, organized criminal groups behind the attacks are trying to make money through ransomware. Others are trying to steal intellectual property. The FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency have extended efforts to defend healthcare organizations against cyberattacks.

On Oct. 12, Microsoft took action to block ransomware distributor Trickbot, which has infected more than a million computing devices in the last four years. The action aims to protect healthcare facilities and government agencies, among other organizations, from Trickbot-enabled malware. Trickbot has delivered Ryuk crypto-ransomware in the past, which has been linked to cyberattacks against hospitals during the pandemic.

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