2 Florida Hospitals Under Attack? Were Patient Records Compromised?
In today's tech-savvy society, hacking and cyberattacks are dangerous threats that compromise people's trust, security, finances, and records. Last Monday, two hospitals in central Florida had some strange activity on their computers...and have since concluded that they were likely under a cyberattack.
This article talks about the Monday night cybersecurity issue at the two Florida hospitals, the dangers of cyberattacks in our society, and how we can protect ourselves from security breaches.
A Late Night Cyberattack
On Monday night, at The Villages Regional Hospital and the UF Health Leesburg Hospital, someone must have noticed something was off. A worker reported unusual activity within the hospital systems. This alert caused both hospitals to shut down their systems, leaving only the essential and uncompromised ones running. The shutdown was in a cautious attempt to protect patient records if there was actually a cyberattack.
Instead of documenting patient visits and other things electronically, they reverted to hand-documenting those incidents. For a moment, it was like the good ole days before electronics worked their way into every part of our lives.
Thank god they shut down the system. Later in the week, Frank Faust, a spokesman for the University of Florida’s Health Department, confirmed for the media that the irregularities in the system were indeed related to a "cybersecurity event." Luckily, they don't believe anyone's information was compromised by the "event," as they're calling it.
“We have since learned that the activity was related to a cybersecurity event. With regard to protected information, at this time we do not believe any patient or personnel records have been compromised or shared.”
Of course, teams at the hospitals and the police are still investigating the origins of the attack. They are taking it very seriously. The Villages is one of America's largest retirement communities, housing over 130,000 residents.
However, narrowing down Monday's events takes time, which Frank Faust reminded the media.
Why Are Cyberattacks a Serious Security Risk?
Cyberattacks are a serious security risk to many people and businesses. They can not only steal the information of patients and the business, leading to banking issues and identity theft, but they can also damage the stored data, damage the computers, leave businesses open to extortion, and damage the reputation of the business.
Tips for Better Cyber Security
Any information on the internet is at risk to be compromised by a cyberattack. Information stored with a business or place, like a hospital, is the business's responsibility to protect. However, there are some ways we can keep our home data safer.
- Use trusted antivirus software.
- Use strong passwords and avoid personal passwords.
- Use two-factor authorization when possible.
- Don't open suspicious emails or any emails from people you do not know.
- Don't use public wifi.
- Back up your devices regularly.