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Fallout from hospital cybersecurity attack leads to patient death in Germany

por John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | September 23, 2020
Cyber Security European News Health IT

Prosecutors have launched an investigation against the perpetrators of the attack on suspicion of negligent manslaughter due to the transfer of the woman to Wuppertal. The perpetrators were not named and are no longer able to be contacted. Should the death of the woman be connected to the transfer to Wuppertal brought on by the attack, it could be deemed a case of negligent homicide and lead to further investigations, according to RTL.

The hospital said there are no indications that the data cannot be retrieved. “The UKD and the specialist companies involved were able to make further progress in restoring the IT system,” said Professor Dr. Frank Schneider, medical director of the UKD, in a statement. “As things stand today, we expect that we will be able to resume emergency care in our ZNA within the next week."

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Ido Geffen, VP of Product at CyberMDX, told HCB News that no single security solution is enough today to prevent hackers from encrypting servers, and that multiple layers are required to make it more difficult for them to do so. He laments, however, that there is "no silver bullet" to quickly undo a hack like this once it occurs.

"Preventing an attack like this, and any cyberattack really, is largely dictated by the work done ahead of time," he said. "For this reason it is so important that healthcare delivery organizations have a robust, multilayered cybersecurity strategy in place and dedicate the resources to properly train staff properly and put the right tools in place before the incident occurs. As the cliché says, "you are only as strong as your weakest link" and so HDOs need to examine where their current cybersecurity strategies are lacking and work diligently to correct them, because there is no "do-over" button once the attack has happened."

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