University Brno Hospital in the Czech Republic was forced to close its doors on Friday after a cyberattack struck. This is quite unfortunate as the hospital was one of the larger testing centers for COVID-19 in the country and the shutdown could prove to be crucial as the number of cases continues to rise. Not much information on how the attack took place is known at this time but experts are suspecting a ransomware attack. Although basic operations are still able to go on, wait times have drastically increased. The National Cyber and Information Security Agency has been called in to get to the root of the issue and help to get the hospital operating at regular speed. Due to the country already being declared in a state of emergency, heavier charges could be given to the perpetrators behind the attack if their identity is uncovered.
With little information known at this time, all that can be done is to brief employees on the dangers of ransomware and also teach them how to spot phishing scams and other tactics that attackers use to gain access to business servers. Attackers targeting medical facilities with ransomware has been an increasing trend in recent months. It is likely that attackers believe time-sensitive critical services, including healthcare, will pay high ransom demands to get back to normal operations quickly. It is important for any critical service to have a continuity of operations plan that includes maintaining offline backups, an incident response plan to contain the spread of malware, and the ability to request outside assistance from government agencies in the event of a major incident to speed recovery and restoration of service. Managed security services such as Binary Defense also have an important role in detecting and quickly responding to computer intrusions, keeping a minor incident from spreading to more computers and becoming a major problem.