Miami Herald – Tim Johnson – 8/7/17
Cyberattacks are accelerating worldwide and the U.S. health care system is dangerously unprepared to defend itself, or its patients.
In the past two months, thousands of computers of the nation’s No. 3 pharmaceutical company, Merck, seized up amid a global cyberattack, cutting into production of medicines. The same rogue digital worm crippled a hospital system north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
From insulin pumps and defibrillators, and on to expensive CT scanners and MRI machines, medical devices are increasingly connected to networks. Patient medical records are online. When networks go down, physicians say it is like operating in the dark.
“It’s going to get worse,” said Chris Wysopal, cofounder and chief technology officer at Veracode, a Burlington, Massachusetts, cybersecurity firm. Wysopal pointed to fallout from the WannaCry digital worm that swept the globe in March and the Petya malware that hit in June, leaving collateral damage in the health care sector.