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After years of ransomware attacks, health-care defenses still fail

March 20, 2024
Washington Post
Contributed by: Colin Banas
Summary
The U.S. healthcare system, identified as highly vulnerable to cyberattacks, has suffered significant breaches despite prior warnings, such as the ransomware incidents that escalated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Efforts to enforce stricter cybersecurity measures have been slow, hindered by industry resistance to mandatory guidelines and a complex regulatory landscape. The recent hacking of UnitedHealth Group's Change Healthcare, which disrupted insurance reimbursements, exemplifies the dire consequences of inadequate cybersecurity defenses. Both federal officials and industry experts acknowledge the urgent need for comprehensive security frameworks that can protect all components of the healthcare sector, from major providers to small, resource-limited facilities. However, the path forward is challenged by legislative inaction, industry pushback, and the inherent complexity of the healthcare system's interconnected digital infrastructure.
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