Cyberattacks Don’t Care About Size

Jay D. Reyero | 8.10.17

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Cyberattacks on large hospital systems made headlines recently but a new cyberattack on a small Atlanta clinic demonstrates that health care providers are not safe no matter the size of the practice.

Peachtree Neurological Clinic in Atlanta, Georgia, informed its patients in a letter that it was the victim of a ransomware attack where its system was encrypted and a ransom demanded to unlock.  Rather than pay the ransom, the clinic restored its information and system from backup records.  Yet in continuing its investigation, the clinic discovered their system had been previously hacked and accessed for over a year (February 2016-May 2017).  It was not immediately known whether any information had been viewed or acquired.

Health care providers are potential targets because of the valuable information that they possess.  Healthcare Analytics News recently reported on issues raised by attendees at the Black Hat USA 2017 event, the world’s leading information security event, including vulnerabilities for healthcare systems and hacking of medical devices.

Cyberattacks will continue to be a growing threat to health care providers, especially as technology continues to evolve and become more ever-present in everyday practice.   Regardless if a provider is a large hospital or a single-member practice, technology opens the door to potential attacks from nefarious parties because of the extremely valuable information available.  All providers, big and small, need to take steps to protect themselves and the patient data they maintain.

For questions on what to do following a cyberattack or compliance in general, please contact Jay D. Reyero (jreyero@byrdadatto.com).