Ongoing Ransomware Attack Hits Europe and Asia Hospitals; Threatens North America

 

The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) is monitoring the ongoing WannaCry ransomware attack across Europe and Asia, and its potential threat against North American-based hospitals and hospital information systems. After a brief respite on Saturday due to a killswitch found within the code, the ransomware was reborn on Sunday, continuing to affect National Health Service hospitals and facilities across England, while spreading to more than 150 countries.

 

This weekend’s WannaCry ransomware attack is a disturbing reminder of how susceptible the global healthcare arena is to cyberattacks. The Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies are reviewing the evidence of this attack occurring within the United States, so we’ll learn more about its effect on our nation’s hospitals in the coming days.

 

Regardless of the outcomes of this attack, EHNAC’s executives and system administrators continue to review and enhance security and privacy controls within accreditation criteria to mitigate the threat of similar data breaches and to secure Protected Health Information managed by healthcare stakeholders. We applaud the efforts of the security agencies working to contain and stop this attack and encourage all to review their privacy and security procedures, and ensure they are best prepared to mitigate the impact of future threats.

 

– Lee Barrett

Executive Director

EHNAC