U of Maryland Medical System faces hourly cyberattack attempts, CIO says 

Cyberattacks on hospitals and health systems are escalating, and at University of Maryland Medical System, phishing attempts are coming through multiple times a day, according to CIO Joel Klein, MD. 

Dr. Klein, senior vice president and CIO at the Baltimore-based health system, told The Democrat Star that he has seen an increase in cyberattacks since the COVID-19 pandemic started. 

"We are attacked on an hourly, not just daily, basis by phishing attempts and people trying to get into our network in a variety of ways," he said. 

Healthcare organizations across the U.S. have been grappling with the increase in attacks. Nearly half of chief information security officers at hospital and health systems have said their organizations were hit by a phishing email attack or that business emails were compromised in the past year, according to an October survey from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives and the Association for Executives in Healthcare Information Security. 

To mitigate these types of attempts, Markus Rauschecker, director of the University of Maryland's Center for Health and Homeland Security, told the Star that hospitals should implement "full-fledged" cyber incident plans, which establish a clear response in case of a ransomware attack, and strong cybersecurity training for staff.

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