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Indiana cybersecurity expert: Attacks on hospitals are growing

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Eskenazi hospital confirms they were hit with a cyberattack on Aug. 4, stating that hackers stole personal information.

Hospitals are becoming an increasingly common target for attacks like this, according to Tim Sewell, co-founder of the cybersecurity company Reveal Risk — and they can get in the way of saving lives.

“Eskenazi — I read during the original attack … [the hospital] had to divert ambulances,” says Sewell. “And there are studies that can show you just how much that impacts patient care when when you have to divert, and it takes an extra half hour to get life-saving care.”

Sewell says there have been an increasing amount of cyberattacks specifically targeting hospitals in the last few years compared to when he worked in the healthcare industry back in 2016. As someone who has sent his own kids to Eskenazi, he said the attack was personal.

“It’s terrible. I mean, why do they target hospitals? It’s because they tend to pay because it’s patient care first,” he said.

Eskenazi Hospital says they are up and running again and have no intention of paying an hacker. They say bank and credit card data of employees and patients were not stolen. Sewell says the best thing companies can do is prepare and ask for help from companies like Reveal Risk in defending against cyberattacks.

“I’m here to defend the world from the bad guys,” said Sewell. “And that’s what excites me in the morning.”

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