Healthcare Services are Primed to be Hit By WannaCry Again: What Can They Do to Protect Themselves?

No Gravatar

There have been a multitude of articles hitting the news as of late, sounding the alarm for Healthcare Services and related organizations to make sure that they have secured themselves as it looks like the WannaCry malware is making a comeback with hackers looking for a quick and easy payday.  Although the WannaCry cyberattack first hit worldwide over two years ago, many experts are saying that “institutions have not done enough to protect themselves against a repeat.  And that’s especially true in the healthcare sector.” 

For example, a report out this week by the Imperial College of London’s Institute of Global Health Innovation (IGHI), says that despite WannaCry having a financial cost to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) of more than $100MM, hospitals in that country “remain vulnerable to cyber attack, and must take urgent steps to defend against threats which could risk the safety of patients.”  This is unfortunate as the defence against WannaCry and other ransomware is fairly straightforward for organizations to put in place.  Namely, keep equipment up to date, patch software and provide training and awareness to users while making sure the skills of IT staff are continuously maintained.  However, the lack of investment and training by Healthcare organizations is alarming, especially in light of attacks such as WannaCry in 2017, which should have spurred these organizations to improve their cybersecurity measures. 

As another article on the same topic put out by the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, the return of WannaCry is considered a “Looming Threat” as the authors point out that since that attack, there have been a number of new technologies being used in the healthcare industry, such as robotics, AI, implantable medical devices and personalized medicines based on a patient’s genes that are lacking built-in security and would be susceptible to such an attack.  WannaCry, if it hit again, would see hackers gaining access to personal information or even tampering with patients’ medical records.  And this is not just specific to the NHS, but applicable to all healthcare systems around the world. 

With healthcare and funding for healthcare funding coming under increasing financial pressure from government, industry and other stakeholders, these organizations are becoming hard pressed to ensure that they continue to allocate funds so that they can protect themselves from these potential threats. 

So, Wedge continues to keep trying to get the word out to healthcare organizations that there is indeed a solution available to them that can help them to beef up their systems to protect them from WannaCry, along with other malware.  While they should still be investing in the straightforward defences as mentioned earlier, they should also consider taking a proactive “Detect and Block” approach.  Once malware such as WannaCry has made it into an organization’s network, it is already too late.  Then, the focus becomes “Detect and Remediate”, which becomes a much more costly exercise.  

With Wedge’s Advanced Malware Blocker, healthcare organizations can invest in a solution that can completely prevent ransomware and other advanced targeted attacks from even making it into the network; and before it can cause any damage.  A small investment now, can save a huge remediation bill later.  WedgeAMB is available as a FREE 90 day trial and we encourage any healthcare organization who feels that they are lacking in adequate protection to give it a try!  Contact us at: to find out how easy it is to deploy WedgeAMB and to provide that extra level of protection that your organization needs against WannaCry and others.

About Wedge Chief Scientist

Husam Kinawi, Chief Scientist Dr. Kinawi has a PhD and MSc in Computer Science from the Universities of Calgary, Canada and London, UK. In 1997, he co-founded Mpower Technologies Inc., a wireless telecommunications software company. In 1999, Dr. Kinawi co-founded (NASDAQ: AIQT), a Boston-based e-Business applications firm. Dr. Kinawi has over seventeen years of research and development experience working with industry leaders such as Newbridge (Alcatel), Siemens, United Technologies, and Apple in the areas of distributed information systems, embedded applications and wireless Internet solutions. Dr. Kinawi has also spoken at several major conferences, published several research papers, and is the holder of several patents in the area of mobile and wireless devices.
This entry was posted in Industry News, Latest Security News, Wedge News and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before you submit form:
Human test by Not Captcha