As physician practices reopen and hospitals around the country prepare for a second wave of COVID-19 infections coinciding with cold and flu season, the AHA and AMA have released a new resource to help them keep patients’ protected health information private and secure.

“As we look back on the rapid deployment of remote networks and connected devices across the field during the initial response to COVID-19, we now understand how the cyber adversaries exploited the expanded ‘attack surface’ to increase their attacks against providers,” said John Riggi, AHA’s senior advisor for cybersecurity and risk. “Now is the time to harden and secure those expanded networks and connected devices as we potentially enter a second wave of COVID-19. This joint resource will assist the field to identify cyber vulnerabilities, protect data and most importantly, protect patients.”

Our field has made great strides to enhance our cybersecurity efforts, but even so, ransomware attacks in the U.S. have doubled over the last three months, with health care ranking as the most attacked sector,” said John Riggi, AHA’s senior advisor for cybersecurity and risk. “As we close out National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, it’s a great opportunity for health care providers across the field to reassess their security posture and identify cyber vulnerabilities which could disrupt patient care, threaten patient data or risk patient safety.”

For more on hospital and health system cybersecurity and risk issues, contact Riggi at jriggi@aha.org.

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