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Comment from cyber expert: Irish health service hit by cyber attack

May 2021 by Chris Vaughan, Technical Account Manager at Tanium

After the cyber-attack has hit Ireland’s health service, the ecomment from Chris Vaughan, Technical Account Manager, Tanium:

“As we saw with the tragic ransomware attack on the Düsseldorf University Hospital last year, the threats targeting healthcare organisations can have an impact on patient health as well as IT systems. This latest incident highlights that the healthcare sector continues to be a prime target for attacks like these, and unfortunately, I expect this to continue. For the next few hours damage control will be critical to ensuring the welfare of the organisation’s patients and the IT infrastructure that helps care for them.

Such attacks are a reminder of the importance of backing up files regularly and that the systems used for this must be tested regularly. If the worst is to happen and ransomware gains a foothold in an IT environment, then an effective back up strategy will aid post-attack recovery. It can potentially allow organisations to minimise downtime disruptions to their operations and possibly prevents them from needing to pay the ransom.

Another way to minimise the impact of ransomware attacks is to ensure staff are trained to look out for potentially malicious links in emails. It’s not correct to think that everyone already understands and follows this advice as many successful ransomware attacks begin in this way. My message is that you can’t always stop a sophisticated cyber-attack, but by having a good standard of IT hygiene and training in place you can certainly make it more difficult for the attackers to be successful.”




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