The Cyber Peace Institute had pleaded for healthcare providers to be protected against cyber-threats has attracted international support. Many contributors in cybersecurity, academics and numerous political movers and shakers have backed the call for governments to team up “with civil society and the private sector” to protect medical facilities from digital assaults.
In a strongly worded plea, the Cyber Peace Institute asked governments to assert in unequivocal terms that the targeting of healthcare facilities by cyber-criminals is both “unlawful and unacceptable.”
“We call on the world’s governments to take immediate and decisive action to stop all cyberattacks on hospitals, healthcare and medical research facilities, as well as on medical personnel and international public health organizations,” wrote the CPI. “To this end, governments should work together, including at the United Nations, to reaffirm and recommit to international rules that prohibit such actions.”
The CPI made a note of recent global cyber-assaults against healthcare providers, well-timed to coincide with COVID-19.
“Over the past weeks, we have witnessed attacks that have targeted medical facilities and organizations on the frontlines of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” wrote CPI.
“These actions have endangered human lives by impairing the ability of these critical institutions to function, slowing down the distribution of essential supplies and information, and disrupting the delivery of care to patients.”
While death rates caused by the virus have fallen in some countries, easing concerns about the pandemic may lead to a drop in complacency.
“With hundreds of thousands of people already perished and millions infected around the world, medical care is more important than ever,” wrote the CPI. “This will not be the last health crisis.”