Hospital Hackings Surge, Putting Patient Data And Safety At Risk

By Steven McKeon

Photos: YouTube Screenshots

NEW YORK — The same technology that makes it convenient for patients to request prescription refills, view test results and schedule appointments with physicians has also made it easier for hackers to launch crippling cyberattacks on hospitals and healthcare systems, and analysts say there’s no end in sight.

“These cyberattacks on our hospital infrastructures here and abroad only highlight the very urgent need for improved cybersecurity in healthcare overall,” asserted Steven McKeon, cybersecurity expert and founder of MacguyverTech.

In 2023, the healthcare and public health sector was the most targeted in the United States by ransomware attackers, according to a new FBI report, far surpassing other critical services like transportation and energy.

According to analysts, cybercriminals launch these very intricate and damaging ransomware attacks to lock up critical computer systems and steal data as a means of extortion.

Why is healthcare such an easy target? One reason might be its aging technology.

“Our company’s experience and its increasing demand to fix outdated technology that is in some cases more than a decade old is quite alarming,” McKeon continued. “With 1 in 3 Americans impacted by data breaches, modernizing these systems and enhancing cybersecurity measures are essential in protecting patient data and ensuring safety and continuity of care.”

But the healthcare system needs help, McKeon explained, in the form of increased federal funding and enforcement of required cybersecurity practices and enhancements.

“Collaborative efforts between governments and the healthcare industries are vital to tackling these threats and securing these systems for the long haul,” McKeon added.

Steven McKeon (Mac) is the founder and CEO of MacguyverTech and MacNerd. With over 25 years of experience in the technological world, he always had a passion for taking things apart and then putting them back together better than before. His knowledge of software development extends from a passion for reverse engineering, ethical hacking and new technologies.

After graduating from Rowan University, he joined a boutique tech shop in Boston. A year into his job, a severe cyberattack originating from Russia compromised the company’s systems and client data. Tasked by his boss to handle the situation, he managed to trace and counter-hack the attackers, eventually helping the authorities shut them down. This experience made McKeon a target, prompting him to rethink security strategies. Today, he focuses on enhancing cybersecurity practices. Unlike traditional approaches, he emphasizes layered security, which deters hackers by increasing the effort needed to breach defenses. With the rising cyber threats, his mission to protect and educate others about security has never been more critical.

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