Microsoft gives hospitals free access to cyberattack notification service amid attacks: 4 details

Microsoft made its AccountGuard threat notification service available to healthcare providers on April 14 to protect against cyberattacks.

Four things to know:

1. After cyberattacks targeting healthcare providers in Texas and Illinois, as well as internationally in Paris, Spain and the Czech Republic, Microsoft decided to make its threat notification service available at no cost to hospitals and healthcare providers. Microsoft has also detected and responded to cyberattacks on the healthcare industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the largest hacking groups saying they would not target hospitals responding to the pandemic.

2. Cyberattacks could cause treatment or COVID-19 testing delays. In Illinois, an attack halted access to critical COVID-19 healthcare guidance.

3. The attackers often disguise malicious content as a message from health authorities or medical equipment providers that are sent to an employee's email address. The attackers then gain access to the employee's personal credentials that can contain documents or links that infect the computer and can spread throughout the hospital's network. Microsoft reported attackers could be looking for COVID-19-related intelligence or aim to disrupt the allocation of supplies.

4. AccountGuard is available here for hospitals, clinics, labs, care facilities and clinicians as well as medical device companies and life science companies responding to COVID-19. The system notifies organizations when there are attacks and provides advice and training support to guard against cyberattacks.

More articles on health IT:
The tech needed to reopen the economy: 5 things to know
HIPAA rules relaxed at community-based testing sites
How hospitals are responding to spike in cyberattacks during pandemic

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