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Cybersecurity expert discusses hacks at local hospitals | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

TAMPA, Fla. — Officials say a cybersecurity attack has impacted another hospital system with some ties to Florida.

What You Need To Know

  •  Officials say Johns Hopkins University and Health System has become the victim of a cyberattack
  •  The university and health system joins HCA and Tampa General as some of the latest victims of online hacking
  •  HCA officials said no sensitive personal information was impacted by the cyberattack
  • Tampa General officials said sensitive personal information was likely taken and individuals who were impacted will be contacted directly

Johns Hopkins University and Health System officials say they are investigating an attack that impacted a piece of software that’s used by the organization.

This announcement comes after learning about attacks on HCA and Tampa General Hospital.

Cybersecurity expert Jeff Birner says his requires him to consistently look in places most people should stay away from online.

“Believe it or not, there’s a cyberattack every 39 seconds,” he said.

Birner — who is the CEO of IT Consulting St. Petersburg — works in this space and mostly helps smaller and medium sized businesses with their online safety.

Recently, he says he heard about the cyberattacks at Johns Hopkins, HCA and Tampa General.

“Any time you see a cybersecurity attack, you know, you always wonder like, ‘Wow, who was it?’” he said. “You know, was it a state sponsored? You know, group from another country? Was it somebody internal?”

Birner said attacks like these are not uncommon, but he, and other experts like him, works to try and limit as much of the damage as possible.

“With cybersecurity and cyberattacks, I mean, there’s a million different ways they can come at you,” Birner said.

It’s why Birner says he likes to take a layered approach when it comes to security.

“It is centered around three things: 24/7 monitoring, 24/7 patching, 24/7 remediation using zero trust technologies is something that we feel is a great benefit for not only the big companies, but especially the smaller companies that may not have the resources of a huge staff,” he said.

He says places like Tampa General and HCA have big IT departments that do this type of work, so he wouldn’t put the blame on the hospital.

The unfortunate world of the internet, he says, is that hackers try anything to find a way in.

But he recommends for people’s personal protection to implement things like multi-factor authentications, changing passwords frequently and having a password manager.

He says signing up for a monitoring service like LifeLock or Credit Karma can make a big difference too.

Spectrum News has received statements from all three organizations impacted by the attacks.

Officials at Johns Hopkins said they are still investigating what information was compromised, and recommended people essentially follow the same instructions Birner mentioned.

Earlier this month, HCA officials said patient’s names, and other common information might have been taken but sensitive information like medical details or Social Security numbers were not.

Tampa General said to Bay News 9 in a statement that some sensitive information may have been taken and that they’d let patients know if their info had been compromised.


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