Elaine Byrne: West plays Russian roulette in failing to tackle threat of cyber attacks

Failure to protect health infrastructure is literally a matter of life and death, as the HSE found out last week

23rd May, 2021
Elaine Byrne: West plays Russian roulette in failing to tackle threat of cyber attacks
The warning signs were there. Healthcare facilities, medical institutions and pharma research centres in the US, France, Germany, Spain and Finland were all targeted last year. Picture: Getty

Cybersecurity is a matter of life and death. In September of last year, a 78-year-old woman died when a ransomware attack on the Düsseldorf health system in Germany forced emergency services to redirect ambulances to other medical facilities.

This resulted in delayed medical treatment, a delay which had fatal consequences. Death by ransomware is a growing concern. The failure to protect health infrastructure can result in fatal outcomes.

The health sector is a...

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