How Data Breaches and Ransomware Kill!
You could be killed by data breaches and ransomware attacks! They happen and they happen often. When they do millions of people become vulnerable to cyber crime of all sorts including identity theft, financial fraud, and a host of other cyber crimes.
Attacks using ransomware or a data breach can be deadly if it hits the right target at the right time. Imagine calling 911 and the system is shut down by ransomware. It happened in Baltimore and all over the country.
Now imagine yourself, or a loved one, lying in a hospital bed in a hospital that has been crippled by a data breach or ransomware attack. Now suppose the attack happened six months ago? It can still kill!
According to research conducted by Vanderbilt University hospitals hit by a data breach or ransomware attack see an increase in the death rate among heart patients in the following months or years because of cybersecurity remediation efforts. In other words people die as the networks are being repaired. Because of the finding health industry experts are urging a larger review of how cyber security, or lack of it, may be impacting patient health and costing lives.
The Vanderbilt study revealed that after data breaches as many as 36 additional deaths per 10,000 heart attacks occurred annually at the hundreds of hospitals studied.
“Breach remediation efforts were associated with a deterioration in timeliness of care and patient outcomes,” the authors found. “Remediation activity may introduce changes that delay, complicate or disrupt health IT and patient care processes.”
Leo Scanlon, former deputy chief information security officer at the Health and Human Services told KrebsOnSecurity.com, “The exploitation of cyber security vulnerabilities is killing people. There is a lot of possible research that might be unleashed by this study. I believe that nothing less than a congressional investigation will give the subject the attention it deserves.”
Data breaches can also kill in other ways, incorrect or corrupted information in patients medical records could cause the wrong treatment or drug to be administered. Patient records could be locked up crippling a pharmacies ability to provide a needed drug. Financial records could be held hostage or disrupted impacting a person’s ability to pay for critical care. Emergency services could be delayed or not respond at all to a fire or other emergency where lives are at stake.
Now you know