AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) — The impact of the recent cyberattack on one of the largest healthcare providers in the country is being felt in the CRSA at Aiken Regional. This incident has sent healthcare delivery back almost 50 years, no computers, and all paperwork.
“It is a sad but true thing that’s happening and there’s a lot of criminals out there that are attacking healthcare systems,” Cybersecurity Expert Zachary Hodges told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk.
An incident involving malware across Universal Health Services facilities forcing computers offline. Officials say there’s no indication of patient or employee data were breached but some healthcare systems across the country are reporting they have come to a complete halt in the blink of an eye. “They’re doing it primarily because they know how critical the healthcare system is,” Hodges added.
Hodges is the Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of Cybersecurity Solutions. He says one of the issues with the recent malware incident is no plan in place for if something were to happen. “If you have a disaster recovery plan that enables you to still utilize devices, but to section off that piece of the network that was impacted or wasn’t affected while all the incident response team is handling that situation, you’re able to still get back to normal work,” he said.
NewsChannel 6 has learned that everything that normally would’ve been done on a computer or digitally at Aiken Regional is being done manually by hand. Hodges says malware doesn’t just have a financial impact, it could be a matter of life and death.”This is something that could impact insulin pump technology. Hackers could get into machines like respirators that we see being very vital during the COVID-19 pandemic. It can also cause slower response to critical health or heart problems.”
These types of attacks, Hodges added, could be seen more in rural areas soon. “Now [hackers] are going after more rural environments — clinics and outpatient surgery centers, and smaller offices that can’t afford to put a very robust cybersecurity plan in place or to outsource and pay a company to do that for them,” he said. “It’s unfortunate because they lose trust with their patients if something happens,” he added.
Meanwhile, Shawn reached out to learn the status of the computer systems at Aiken Regional. He’ll give you that response when he receives it, here.