In an alarming turn of events, a hospital in Peru, Illinois is closing after a cyberattack.
We have long warned that ransomware terrorism has two terrible outcomes in hospitals: impact on patient safety and impact on employees. There are, of course, other negative outcomes like extortion of money and stolen patient records. But the actual closure of a hospital is terrible, momentous, and will lead to patient safety issues.
In aninterview with NBC, a patient of the hospital said, “If you’re having a heart attack or a stroke, may the odds ever be in your favor, because you’re not going to make it there in time.” The next closest hospital to St. Margaret’s Health is 30 minutes away. But, let’s be honest, for most rural hospitals, the drive to the next closest hospital is significantly longer.
The attack on St. Margarets happened in 2021, but the revenue losses from the attack, coupled with staffing problems, rising costs, and thinning margins caused the closure. For many hospitals, these are today commonly-faced issues. A cyberattack isn’t likely to cause the hospital to close on its own, but it contributes to a domino effect, which better explains St. Margarets’ situation.
This is a situation that should NEVER repeat. We need to keep our independent hospitals operating and fiercely independent.
If hospitals do not have enough resources to hire a dedicated IT Security Team that can work 24x7, they need to look to a company with healthcare cybersecurity expertise for assistance.
Critical Insight helps hospitals PREPARE for a cyberattack, DETECT one quickly, and RESPOND decisively. Together, we can prevent another hospital from closing.