Healthcare organizations always need to be proactive against cyberattacks, but how might the war in the Ukraine further exacerbate this issue in the United States and around the world.

There are growing concerns that an escalation of cyberattacks in the Russia-Ukraine war could spill over to the rest of the world. There is of course, precedence for this from an earlier Russian attack on Ukraine when in 2017 NotPetya, a Russian developed wiperware, spread to impact global businesses, wreaking havoc along the way. The concern is that this could impact healthcare and other critical infrastructure industries resulting in the cancellation or postponement of procedures, the mass inconveniencing of patients through hospitals having to “go on divert.”

This was the case when WannaCry, a North Korean ransomware, impacted many healthcare providers and effectively took down over a third of hospital systems in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2017. The concern is that we may not have done enough to shore up our defenses over the past five years to prevent another such attack or one, even more devastating. 

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