Hospitals tighten email security, restrict external messages to prevent ransomware

Hospitals across the U.S. have tightened up e-mail security to avoid ransomware attacks.
The health systems IT group likewise is analyzing any email with attachments and quarantining suspicious emails, validated Debora Spano, UMass Medical Centers media and public relations supervisor. The news was initially reported in Boston Business Journal, which likewise reported that Signature Healthcare blocked external e-mails for a couple of days over the weekend.
Lorraine McGrath, director of marketing communications at Brockton, Mass.-based Signature Healthcare, stated the health system took action after receiving information from regional and nationwide agencies about a potential risk to healthcare facility networks. She said Signature didnt receive any particular danger, but took the security safety measures proactively.
” Our IT department is carefully monitoring all the activity can be found in and out of our health care organization,” she informed Beckers. “While they always did that, they are taking higher preventative measure in this hazard trying to secure our company from any type of potential network threat. We take the security of our clients and staff very seriously.”
The Business Journal also reported that Holyoke (Mass.) Medical Center shut down emails from Oct. 29 to Oct. 30 to enable its IT security group to comb through e-mails and sequester suspicious messages. The hospital then began sequestering all emails with attachments to confirm them.
OhioHealth in Columbus validated to Beckers that it has actually taken procedures to briefly limit external emails and tighten up e-mail security after finding out about the larger general risk.

More posts on cybersecurity: Emotet malware attacks up 1,200% in Q3: 5 things to knowRetailer settles HIPAA offense allegations over improper electronic device disposal: 4 detailsUpdates on 5 hospital cyberattacks

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2020. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.

In Massachusetts, UMass Memorial Health Care in Worcester has placed inhibitors on external links and is scrubbing external e-mails and links. The health systems IT group likewise is analyzing any e-mail with accessories and quarantining suspicious emails, confirmed Debora Spano, UMass Medical Centers media and public relations supervisor. The news was first reported in Boston Business Journal, which likewise reported that Signature Healthcare blocked external e-mails for a few days over the weekend. The block was lifted Nov. 2, but the health system has actually put tighter restrictions on the types of emails that get through.
“While they constantly did that, they are taking higher preventative measure in this danger attempting to safeguard our organization from any type of prospective network risk.

Ogdensburg, N.Y.-based Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center also momentarily closed down its email to prevent cyberattacks, according to a different News 7 report.
Director of IT at Williamson Medical Center in Franklin, Tenn., Jeff Goad, said cybersecurity at the hospital has always been an essential focus, but the health center has taken extra steps after speaking with the federal government about the increased threat to medical facilities.
” Cybersecurity has been a constant concern and news subject among healthcare organizations for numerous years, however it is still upsetting to become aware of a targeted effort, and more information are being exposed daily,” he said. “We are additional heightening and tightening up controls worker education that was currently in progress.”

” To our knowledge, OhioHealth has not been compromised by these actions,” Colin Yoder, senior supervisor of media relations at OhioHealth. “However, we are taking this threat very seriously. We have a robust information security group that is monitoring our computer system network and electronic medical record system. We have actually also engaged a national cybersecurity expert to assist us in both examining the potential threat to OhioHealth and help us in taking extra actions to monitor and secure our computer networks.”
In New York, River Hospital in Alexandria Bay closed down email access to prevent ransomware attacks, according to a report from News 7. CIO Jim Flood stated he was uncertain when the health center would activate its e-mail once again, according to the station.