As COVID-19 wreaked havoc at health systems worldwide, hackers and bad actors were all too happy to take advantage of the confusion and expanded attack surface – in a new "cyberpandemic" that shows no sign of abating.
As we write this on Wednesday, the massive SolarWinds cyberattack, purportedly perpetrated by Russian intelligence and impacting some 18,000 government agencies and private sector businesses, is just starting to come into focus. So far, the healthcare dimensions of the hack include the apparent targeting of the National Institutes of Health.
It appears to be the kind of state-sponsored effort that Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, spoke about during the HIMSS Healthcare Security Forum just this past week – when he shared some of the health-sector implications of the recent bipartisan Cyberspace Solarium Commission, which seeks to shore up some of the shortcomings of America's cyber preparedness.
"Part of the failure of our strategy thus far has been a lack of a real deterrent, a lack of something that our adversaries feel is something they have to worry about," said King. "Historically, there hasn't been much of a cost paid by our adversaries."
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At Geisinger in Pennsylvania, a pilot program to bring care to the homes of older patients with complex healthcare needs has shown a 35% reduction in visits to the emergency department visits, a 40% …