Ascension Health Cyberattack Exposes Urgent Need for Enhanced Network Security!

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In a Shocking Cyberattack, Nation’s Fourth-Largest Health Care Network, Ascension Health, Targeted

Ascension Health, one of America’s most extensive health care networks, has revealed they were targeted by a cyberattack on Wednesday. This alarming incident has interrupted “access to some systems” and brings forward the urgent need for robust cyber security in healthcare. St. Louis-based Ascension is the fourth-largest health care system in the U.S with approximately 140 hospitals and a vast pharmacy system.

The healthcare giant released a statement, saying they “detected unusual activity on select technology network systems,” which they believe was “due to a cyber event.” Although they did not specify whether their pharmacy network was affected, Ascension’s response illustrates the gravity of the situation and the critical need for robust defense in our increasingly digital world.

“Our care teams are trained for these kinds of disruptions and have initiated procedures to ensure patient care delivery continues to be safe and as minimally impacted as possible,” the statement continued. The cyberattack has undoubtedly caused a disruption to clinical operations, emphasizing the urgent need for healthcare organizations to improve their network security. Ascension is investigating the cybersecurity event to determine if any of their patients’ sensitive information was compromised.

As we live in a world where cyber threats have become increasingly commonplace in the healthcare industry, hospitals and pharmacies must be better protected to prevent these disruptions from impacting patients and employees. “Should we determine that any sensitive information was affected, we will notify and support those individuals in accordance with all relevant regulatory and legal guidelines,” said Ascension, illustrating the seriousness of the situation.

One patient affected by the suspected cyberattack’s chaos was Zackery Lopez. He checked into a Southfield, Michigan hospital fearing that his cancer had returned. Lopez experienced a seven-hour wait just for pain medication and shared his eyewitness account, “Right now it is crazy. Nurses are running around. Doctors are running around. There’s no computers whatsoever they can use.”

Hospitals and pharmacies have become more frequent targets of cyberattacks in recent years, which have grown in sophistication and nefariousness. Cybercriminals often hack into a system to lock up sensitive information or critical health care files and hold it for ransom, with many perpetrators based in foreign countries like Russia. The healthcare industry must take action in ensuring that cyber threats are contained, and patient care is their utmost priority at all times.

Earlier this year, U.S. health insurance company UnitedHealth Group’s subsidiary Change Healthcare was targeted by a cyberattack believed to be from a foreign “nation-state” actor. The attack resulted in some of their pharmacies being unable to process prescriptions for insurance companies to pay.

In conclusion, the cyberattack on Ascension Health should be a stark wake-up call for the U.S. healthcare sector. It emphasizes the urgent need for organizations to improve their network security to prevent these events from impacting patients, staff, and daily operations in the future. Increased cyber threats are real and should be addressed with the seriousness and urgency they deserve.

Next News Network Team

Next News Network Team

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