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HHS Warns Health IT Infrastructure Could Put Patient Data At Risk

January 30, 2019 / Fred Donovan

Healthcare’s increasing dependence on interconnected health IT infrastructure, such as electronic health records and connected medical devices, could put sensitive patient data at risk, warned HHS in its quadrennial National Health Security Strategy released this month. As healthcare delivery systems become more connected, they also become more vulnerable to cyberattacks like the 2017 WannaCry ransomware attack campaign, the report observed. The WannaCry attacks targeted vulnerabilities in aging health IT infrastructure systems and unsupported Microsoft software. They disrupted more than 200,000 computers in around 150 countries. While health IT can improve efficiency and productivity, it can also have consequences for national health security by: Creating dependency on technology that pervades society, requiring investments in defensive backup, anti-virus, and security systems; awareness training; and vigilance