How Data Breaches and Ransomware Kill!

Published On November 8, 2019 | By Tom Huskerson | News and Analysis, Now You Know

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, “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.

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About The Author

Tom Huskerson Bio Born in Richmond Virginia Tom Huskerson is a military veteran who settled in California after his discharge. Tom attended Santa Barbara City College where he began his writing career as a campus reporter. He worked as an intern news reporter for the Santa Barbara News-Press writing feature stories before moving on to San Francisco. At San Francisco State University Tom studied broadcast communications and began to focus on the Internet. He completed his graduate thesis on Internet advertising. Tom was the first student to ever focus on the Internet as a graduate student at San Francisco State University. After graduation he went to work for Zona Research in California’s Silicone Valley. As a research associate Tom supported senior analyst writing on the latest developments in the Internet industry. During the dot com boom Tom worked for several web businesses as a market researcher and analyst. As a writer and researcher Tom has authored various technical works including a training program for Charles Schwab security. Other projects included professional presentations on workplace violence and hiring security contractors. Tom has also written both fiction and non-fiction works and blogging for a travel website. He has published two books of short stories and completed two novels. Tom is the owner of Scribe of Life Literature and Tom is not the chief editor for the OnTechStreet. com. A news and information blog that focuses on tech news for African-Americans. The blog is the result of his desire to inform the African American community of the dangers and benefits of the cyber age. In his blog Tom reports on information security, new and analysis, scams and hoaxes, legal happenings and various topics that arise from the age of information. Tom believes that technology is a necessary tool for black people and they should know what is happening. Tom writes believing that techno speak is for the professional and that valuable information can be communicated using plain language. As a result he has embraced the motto, Less Tech, More Knowledge.

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