Comey urges health systems to work closely with FBI to combat cyberattacks

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FBI Director James Comey on May 8 encouraged hospital and health system leaders to form connections with law enforcement.

"We will be open and honest with you and treat you as what you are: victims," Mr. Comey said at the American Hospital Association's Annual Membership Meeting in Washington, D.C.

He emphasized hospitals and health systems should not only promptly report security incidents to the FBI, but also proactively reach out and build a relationship with their local FBI field office. This familiarity will help law enforcement officials respond more quickly in the event of a security incident, according to Mr. Comey.

He also cited ransomware as the No. 1 cyberthreat in healthcare and discouraged providers from paying ransoms, saying it enables attackers to continue using healthcare as a lucrative market.

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