Hospitals urged to employ emergency backup systems vs possible cyber attacks amid COVID-19 threat

Robie de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Information and Communications (DICT) on Tuesday urged hospitals and healthcare facilities in the country to employ emergency backup systems to ensure operational continuity in case of outages caused by malware or cyberattacks.

The DICT said this is to prevent similar cyberattacks being reported amidst the global novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“There have been reports of ransomware attacks that target hospitals and healthcare facilities,” the agency said in a statement.

Citing a report from Healthcare IT News UK, the DICT said a cyber-attack on a Czech hospital forced a tech shutdown in the midst of the outbreak, compromising life-sustaining medical equipment.

The said hospital is also serving as a COVID-19 test facility.

The DICT also urged the public to report cyber incidents through its official Facebook account or email at cert-ph@dict.gov.ph. They may also be reached at mobile number 09214942917 or 09561542042, and landline at 8920-0101 local 1708.

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