04.26.17 | Blog Posts

A Heart-to-Heart from the Hackers: Cyber-Vulnerabilities in Cardiac Devices

The Insider: White Collar Defense and Securities Enforcement

Just over a year ago, our blog took note of a governmental letter that powerfully underscored the dangers of cyberattacks in the healthcare industry. The letter, which then-Senator Barbara Boxer had sent to FBI Director James Comey, discussed the serious risks that hospitals and other institutional health care providers face from cyberattacks, ransomware, and a range of other malicious efforts to infiltrate their networks. Senator Boxer’s letter sought Director Comey’s input on how hospitals in particular could protect themselves from a growing number of instances in which hackers used malware to block access to crucial patient data, and the letter also sought information about the FBI’s response to such threats. As we noted in our blog, Senator Boxer’s letter served a valuable public good – it drove home the growing concerns about cybersecurity among healthcare providers, and the dilemmas that healthcare providers face in assessing whether to make ransom payments in response to a cyberattack. Further, as our prior blog post discussed, Senator Boxer’s letter indirectly served to call attention to the ways in which cybersecurity insurance could provide hospitals with a valuable or even essential means of managing their escalating cybersecurity risks. [...]

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