HomeRisk ManagementsUS healthcare giant Ascension hit by cyberattack

US healthcare giant Ascension hit by cyberattack

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A cyberattack has struck the US healthcare giant Ascension, causing disruptions in the systems at hospitals across the country. As one of the largest private healthcare systems in the United States, Ascension plays a crucial role in providing medical care to countless patients. However, the recent ransomware attack has hampered its operations significantly.

The attack, which was detected on May 8, affected key systems including the electronic health records system, MyChart (a platform for patients to access their medical records), phone systems, and various systems used for ordering tests, procedures, and medications. This has forced Ascension to temporarily suspend non-emergent elective procedures, tests, and appointments to focus on containing the attack and restoring the impacted systems.

In response to the incident, Ascension has launched an investigation with the help of external forensics experts. The company is working tirelessly to address the security breach and ensure that patient care remains uninterrupted. Emergency response procedures have been put in place to prioritize emergency cases and ensure that patients receive the necessary medical attention without delay.

The notice of security incident issued by Ascension does not provide specific details about the nature of the attack or whether any data was compromised. However, the company’s actions and the implementation of downtime procedures suggest that a ransomware attack is likely the cause of the disruption. This type of cyberattack typically involves encrypting data and demanding a ransom for its release.

The aftermath of the attack has led to several hospitals being on diversion for emergency medical services, redirecting patients to other facilities to manage the influx of cases. Ascension is focused on restoring normal operations as quickly as possible, but the investigation and remediation efforts are expected to take time.

The healthcare industry has become increasingly targeted by cybercriminals seeking to exploit vulnerabilities in systems and networks. Organizations like Ascension face the dual challenge of providing critical medical services while safeguarding sensitive patient information from malicious actors. Cybersecurity incidents like this underscore the importance of enhancing defenses and preparedness in the face of evolving threats.

As Ascension continues to address the fallout from the cyberattack, it serves as a reminder of the pervasive risks that healthcare providers face in the digital age. The company’s commitment to transparency and proactive response to the incident are crucial in mitigating the impact on patient care and ensuring that cybersecurity remains a top priority in the healthcare sector.

For more updates on this developing story, follow SecurityAffairs on Twitter, Facebook, and Mastodon. Stay informed about the latest cybersecurity news and developments as organizations like Ascension navigate the challenges of protecting sensitive data in an increasingly digital world.

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