The Department of Health and Human Services Oct. 6 urged health care organizations to patch a critical vulnerability in Cisco’s Emergency Responder communications platform that allows a cyberattacker to completely compromise a vulnerable system and use it for further attacks across an enterprise network. HHS’ Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center (HC3) recommends health care organizations identify vulnerable systems in their infrastructure and prioritize the software update.

“This is another example of cyber adversaries exploiting vulnerabilities in our mission-critical third-party technology to gain access to our networks,” said John Riggi, AHA’s national advisor for cybersecurity and risk. “Cisco’s Emergency Responder platform functions as a layer on top of Cisco’s Unified Communications Manager, which runs 85 million Voice over IP phones, including ones installed in hospitals and health systems. Patching this critical vulnerability is essential to ensure the security of communications systems and prevent malicious remote access to hospital and health system computer networks.” 

For more information on this or other cyber and risk issues, contact Riggi at jriggi@aha.org. For the latest cyber and risk resources and threat intelligence, visit aha.org/cybersecurity.

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