Biotech Firm Cold Storage Giant Hit by Cyberattacks

The year 2020 will always be remembered as a disruptive year, however, it’s not just for the global health crisis. As exponential change accelerated and people began working from home, cyberattacks also mounted. 

If you speak to anyone about what the top story was globally for 2020, and they are likely, to begin with, the COVID-19 pandemic. But so much more has happened. It will most definitely be remembered as the year that security events skyrocketed, and cyber incidents left many businesses looking for heightened internet security. 

From virus-related phishing links, telework mistakes, to new working processes to hackers, the coronavirus has created many new opportunities for cybercriminals. What is very clear is that security and technology pros have struggled in 2020 to respond quickly to the changing environment. 

Notable Attacks

Cold storage giant Americold, and Global firm Miltenyi Biotec have recently had to deal with cyberattacks; ransomware, phishing, an email error, and an application hack to name a few. 

Miltenyi Biotec reported a system outage that was caused by a malware attack, while the cold storage giant Americold, experienced a “cybersecurity incident.”

Miltenyi is a global company responsible for supplying SARS-CoV-2 antigens for research firms dealing with COVID-19 treatments. When Miltenyi’s IT infrastructure got hit, it caused issues with their data, and communication systems before their operations were fully restored.

In the meantime, a Securities and Exchange Commission filing revealed that a “cybersecurity incident” struck the network of Americold. Not only were officials able to contain the issue, but they instigated a new business continuity plan to keep the business operating.

These attacks seem as though they align with recent alerts received from the federal agencies and Microsoft. These warn that hackers are targeting those working on the COVID-19 response with cyberattacks and the healthcare sector in order to disrupt operations and steal data. 

It is important for healthcare entities to continue to prioritize improving their security defenses and ensure the effectiveness of business continuity plans so they are able to prevent falling victim. Dozens of other US health systems and hospitals have also faced ransomware attacks and subsequent EHR downtime. Some of these include: 

The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services

They recently had to inform 10,000 individuals that their COVID-19 tests were compromised. A division of Public Health employees sent two unencrypted emails containing the data to an unauthorized user. The email messages contained patient details and were meant to go elsewhere. Additional training has now been provided to staff. 

Mercy Iowa City

Around 60,000 patients were affected because of a phishing attack through an employee’s email. The affected data potentially included sensitive personal information, including official records, medical treatments, and license numbers. The city quickly reinforced its security measures so it’s not only better protected, and monitored.

First Impressions Orthodontics

A ransomware attack potentially compromised the data of thousands of patients. The ransomware was detected in September 2020, and quickly contained, although suspected that patient data including vital health, official, and personal information was stolen before the case was controlled.

While it is often downplayed, having management for your security for businesses to take action and heighten their security protocol in light of COVID-19. Utilizing a managed service provider can ensure that the integrity of a business remains intact because you can guarantee you have the right measures of security in place.

Chris Turn

Chris Turn