US: Ascension releases statement on cybersecurity event after detecting “unusual activity”

US-based healthcare organisation Ascension has released an update following the detection of unusual activity on select technology network systems on Wednesday, stating that it now believes this to be the result of a cybersecurity event.

The company noted that it’s working with “internal and external advisors to investigate, contain, and restore systems”.

A spokesperson from Ascension assured that investigation is already underway, and that business partners were being contacted to “ensure they are aware of the situation”, and to enable them to take steps to safeguard their systems.

Whilst disruptions include access to systems, as well as a disruption to clinical operations, the update highlights that “care teams are trained for these kinds of disruptions and have initiated procedures to ensure patient care delivery continues to be safe and as minimally impacted as possible”.

Patients are advised to bring to their appointment any notes on symptoms, along with information on any medications or prescriptions, since it is anticipated that the organisation “will be utilizing downtime procedures for some time”.

Ascension further states that it will continue to provide updates for patients and stakeholders on its website, and highlights that it does not currently have a timeline for the completion of its investigation.

To read the update in full, please click here.

In related news, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently published two reports, in collaboration with a range of other stakeholders including INTERPOL and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), considering the threat of cyber-attack and disinformation on healthcare, and identifying ways to strengthen health security.