Tech giants come to the rescue of hospitals in the US

Microsoft and Google support rural hospitals facing cyberattacks in the US.

Cyberattack laptop

Amidst the onslaught of cybersecurity related incidents affecting hospitals in the United States, Microsoft and Google have pledged their support to assist operators better safeguard patient data. The ongoing cybersecurity risks have sent hospital staff scampering back to the dark ages of paper filing of patient records. The back tracking has begun to affect staff’s ability to manage other aspects of patient care, given the exponential increase in the data collected and stored by the healthcare sector over the last five years.

The rate at which this sector collects data outpaces many top performers including manufacturing, finance and media and entertainment, and is expected to account for approximately 36% CAGR of the global volume of data by 2025. Nurses at the recently hit Ascension network of hospitals bemoan the increased level of insecurity cybersecurity threats now bring. In 2023, the sector faced a 128% increase in cyber insecurity threats. In an effort to find a solution to this problem facing some 1800 community hospitals in the US, White House National Security Council officials have solicited the support of the two top tech firms.

Other measures the current administration has proposed include minimum cybersecurity requirements for hospitals, a stance some claim could further penalise patients. 

Why does it matter?

Cybersecurity attacks on hospitals not only present a threat to patients and staff at these hospitals but they have had a trickle down effect on the entire economy. In fact, it has been estimated that about one-third of Americans have had their data stolen, and given the trend of hospitals paying ransoms, hackers are becoming increasingly emboldened.