Itís a typically busy morning at the hospital, with all operating rooms booked to capacity. Down in the ER, doctors are treating a steady stream of emergencies. Over in radiology, several patients are being prepped for MRIs. But at 8:35am, the dayís steady rhythm is shattered. Somethingís wrong. The operating room doors wonít open. Shortly after, the nurses in the ICU canít log onto the computers. At 9:05, pagers stop working. And by 11am, the MRI machine has crashed, leaving a waiting room of frustrated, anxious patients. Meanwhile, a thousand miles away, a middle-aged man sits alone at his PC, and smiles to himself, as the wreckage unfolds. A few keystrokes later and heís into the database of the hospitalís EHR/EMR system, calmly extracting valuable data from thousands of patients that heíll quickly sell for a tidy profit.
Another Hollywood thriller, set in the distant future? Unfortunately not. Although this perfect storm of events is unlikely to occur in a single morning, this is the reality that healthcare providers operate in today. Healthcare organizations are being targeted by attackers.
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