ECRI Releases Recommendations for Securing Hospitals’ Remote Access Systems

April 15, 2024
Ransomware attacks targeting remote access systems can lead to vital medical records being taken hostage and crucial delays in care

ECRI has released a hazard report and recommendations concerning ransomware attacks that target remote access systems in healthcare.

The report emphasizes how ransomware attacks can “cripple a hospital’s ability to serve patients by cutting off access to or manipulating essential technologies and patient data.” Specifically, the report points out how “hospitals…grant remote access to their networks, including for hybrid or remote employees; for physicians accessing patient records; and for radiologists reading studies.” In addition, financial operations are occasionally run remotely in hospitals. Attackers can “exploit these entry points—gaining access to and moving throughout the network—if remote access systems are not protected.”

The report provides several recommendations for healthcare leaders meant to help secure remote access systems. The suggestions include ensuring that “Internet-facing systems…are configured securely and that security updates are applied,” “blocking network traffic to internet-facing systems from potentially adversarial countries with which your organization does not conduct business,” “routinely audit[ing] logs and traffic from remote access systems,” and “developing incident response plans that include ransomware contingencies and recovery.”

PR Newswire has the news release.

About the Author

Matt MacKenzie | Associate Editor

Matt is Associate Editor for Healthcare Purchasing News.