Public Release: 

Cyber attacks can threaten public health

Recent ransomware attacks like 'WannaCry' and 'Petya' highlight the growing threats against health care information systems

Brigham and Women's Hospital

WHAT

Commentary :"Threats to Information Security -- Public Health Implications", New England Journal of Medicine

WHO

William J. Gordon, MD
Clinical Informatics Fellow, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Hospitalist, Massachusetts General Hospital

Adam Landman, MD
Chief Information Officer, Brigham and Women's Hospital

WHEN

Embargoed for release until July 12, 2017 at 5 p.m. EDT

WHY

Gordon and Landman have authored a Perspective piece in the New England Journal of Medicine that addresses the growing threat of attacks on information systems and the potential implications on public health.

"Nearly 90% of health care organizations ... suffered a data breach in the past 2 years; meanwhile, 64% of organizations reported a successful attack targeting medical files in 2016 -- a 9% increase in just 1 year," the authors write.

"If we acknowledge the public health implications of information security, we can improve dialogue, implement necessary protections, and minimize the impact on patient care," they conclude.

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