October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Top 15 cybersecurity stories so far in 2017


October marks National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, an annual campaign to engage and educate people throughout the U.S. on cybersecurity, provide them with tools and resources, and increase cyber resiliency.

In recent months, the U.S. has seen an increase in cyberthreats across all industry sectors. In May, the WannaCry ransomware attacks hit a number of hospitals, followed by the June NotPetya malware attacks. More recently, Equifax, the consumer credit reporting agency, was hit with a data breach that compromised the financial information of 143 million, and the Securities and Exchange Commission disclosed a system hack detected in 2016 — the extent of which is still unknown.

"Keeping our Nation secure in the face of cyber threats is our shared responsibility. Our agility and resilience in responding to these threats will improve as our collective awareness about their nature improves," President Donald Trump wrote in a White House statement.

Here are the 15 most popular cybersecurity stories Becker's Hospital Review reported so far in 2017.

1. WannaCry attack infects Bayer medical devices in US hospitals

Bayer confirmed May 19 the worldwide ransomware attack, WannaCry, infected several of its medical devices used in U.S. hospitals.

2. 6 updates on the worldwide ransomware attack

A worldwide ransomware attack May 12 hit organizations across multiple continents, infecting FedEx and bringing down operations for at least 16 of the U.K. National Health Service's facilities.

3. Vanderbilt UMC notifies 3,000+ patients of data breach

Nashville, Tenn.-based Vanderbilt University Medical Center notified 3,247 patients that their medical information was accessed by unauthorized individuals.

4. Erie County Medical Center's computers shut down in cybersecurity incident

In the early hours of the morning on April 9, Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, N.Y., suffered a cybersecurity incident. A virus caused the medical center's entire computer system to shut down. 

5. West Virginia hospital to replace 1.2k hard drives after ransomware attack

Princeton (W.Va.) Community Hospital replaced nearly 1,200 hard drives after it fell victim to a ransomware attack June 27.

6. New ransomware variant targets hospitals

A new ransomware kit called Philadelphia enabled amateur cybercriminals to target hospitals.

7. 107+ cybersecurity companies in healthcare | 2017

Healthcare organizations across the globe are more susceptible than ever to hacks and data breaches, which can cost a hospital or health system millions to fix and damage their reputation. As a result, hospitals are investing more in cybersecurity and risk management services.

8. Memorial Hermann agrees to $2.4M HIPAA settlement

Houston-based Memorial Hermann Health System paid $2.4 million and implemented a corrective action plan as part of a HIPAA settlement to resolve allegations it inappropriately disclosed patient information.

9. Worldwide ransomware attack hits hospitals, FedEx: 6 things to know

A worldwide ransomware attack hit organizations across multiple continents May 12, with preliminary evidence showing infections in at least 14 countries.

10. Medtronic faces global computer outage: 5 things to know

Medtronic — a Dublin, Ireland-based medical technology company with operational headquarters in Minneapolis — worked to bring its IT systems back online after a computer outage.

11. 1M affected in WSU data breach

The names and personal data of nearly 1 million people throughout Washington state were comprised when a back-up hard drive was stolen from a safe in April.

12. Letter: 8 advisers from Trump cybersecurity council resign

Eight members of President Donald Trump's National Infrastructure Advisory Council reportedly stepped down en masse, citing the Trump administration's lack of "moral infrastructure."

13. Minnesota hospital notifies patients of breach after failing to 'BCC' a mass email

Waconia, Minn.-based Ridgeview Medical Center alerted patients Sept. 8 of a security breach that affected some of their personal information when it sent a general survey request via email but failed to blind-copy the recipients.

14. Cybersecurity stocks soar after 'WannaCry' ransomware attack

Cybersecurity stocks spiked May 15 in the wake of a worldwide ransomware attack, which infected more than 200,000 computers across 150 countries.

15. CVS Caremark exposes patients' HIV statuses via envelope windows

CVS Caremark, the pharmacy benefit manager of CVS Health, halted a set of mailings after discovering a potential exposure of patients' HIV statuses.

More articles on cybersecurity:

14 healthcare privacy incidents reported in September

Equifax CEO resigns after massive breach: 5 things to know

Chicago sues Equifax over data breach


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