Cyber-attacks in EMS

EMS leaders should expect, prepare for cyberattack

Many EMS agencies and other public safety organizations have significant exposed risks that can lead to cyberattack data breaches and infrastructure damage

Yesterday at 2:46 PM


BOCA RATON, Fla. — EMS agencies, other public safety organizations and hospitals are vulnerable targets for cyberattacks. Cybersecurity risks and strategies to reduce an EMS agency’s risk were presented to Pinnacle EMS conference attendees.

Frank Gresh, MS, chief information officer, Emergency Medical Services Authority, presented the potential exposures of EMS, as well as other public safety entities, to cyberattack. Software data, like patient care records, and hardware, like 911 call centers, are potential targets for hacking. Infrastructure reliant on outdated technology is especially vulnerable to terrorists or hackers who could overwhelm the system, preventing 911 telecommunicators from answering or dispatching actual emergency calls.

Protection of patient data, account credentials and hardware access is the responsibility of everyone in an EMS organization. (Photo/Greg Friese)

Memorable quotes on cyberattacks against EMS

Here are memorable quotes from Gresh’s presentation.

“Every day, every second of the time there is some attempt being made to compromise access or get into a system – not necessarily against EMS – but there are always threats being made.”

“It’s not just IT’s job to think about information security. It’s everybody’s job to keep your (organization’s) information secure.”

“It is absolutely OK to seek outside assistance to shore up information security in your organization. Ask for help.”

Top takeaways on EMS cybersecurity risks

Here are three top takeaways on EMS cybersecurity risks from Gresh’s presentation.