Indiana system saw record number of cyberattack attempts last month after attacks on 3 nearby hospitals

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Columbus (Ind.) Regional Health is on high alert after ransomware attacks have affected three nearby hospitals, The Tribune reported Oct. 11.

Six things to know:

  1. Ransomware attacks have caused computer outages at three hospitals in Indiana since August. Columbus Regional Health saw a record number of attempts on its computer systems in September, according to the report. Cyberattacks against hospitals are not new, but launching a series of attacks in one region in a short period of time is rare, according to the report.

  2. The health system is implementing additional cyber-measures to mitigate the risk of it becoming a victim to hackers. However, it told the publication that it cannot disclose the measures to avoid tipping off hackers.

  3. "We're certainly always on alert," a spokesperson for the hospital told the Tribune. "The [IT] teams are always finding a new way that somebody is trying to get in."

  4. Indianapolis-based Eskenazi Health shut down its computer network Aug. 4 and put its emergency department on diversion "out of an abundance of caution" and to preserve the safety of patient care. Patient and employee data was stolen in the attack.

  5. Seymour, Ind.-based Schneck Medical Center discovered it was the victim of a cyberattack Sept. 29 and had to suspend all IT systems. Hospital employees had to revert to using paper and pen to minimize disrupting hospital operations. It took 10 days to get its EHR back online.

  6. Franklin, Ind.-based Johnson Memorial Hospital reverted to using paper and pen after the ransomware attack took its computer systems offline. David Dunkle, MD, CEO and president, said surgeries and appointments have not been canceled, but the hospital diverted ambulances from the emergency room to lighten its load.

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