Data Breaches At Hospitals & Patient Deaths

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The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that more than 2,100 patient deaths per year are linked to data breaches at hospitals, according to Dr. Sung Choi, a researcher at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. The findings, which were presented last week at a cyberrisk quantification conference hosted by Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business in Philadelphia, highlight the need for health-care organizations to invest in cybersecurity and improve their post-breach remediation efforts. They also illustrate how data breaches can compromise the performance of organizations, even if lives aren’t involved. Leon Lerman, Co-Founder and CEO at Cynerio commented below.

Leon Lerman, Co-Founder and CEO at Cynerio:

“One of the most important and immediate concerns to patient safety from cyber attacks are related to medical devices service disruption.

Many of these connected medical devices were not built with security in mind, typically running outdated and unpatched operating systems which are susceptible to everyday cyber attacks, which may cause service disruption and pose an immediate risk to patient safety.

After the attack, it’s difficult to get the devices back up and running as many of them require the assistance of the device manufacturer to restore operation, which increases the havoc.

We saw a vivid example to that during the WannaCry attack that affected operation room equipment which caused the cancellation of thousands of scheduled surgeries, including critical heart operations.”


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