Inside the Lab

S2Ep17: Anatomy of a Cyberattack

May 10, 2022 American Society for Clinical Pathology Season 2 Episode 17
Inside the Lab
S2Ep17: Anatomy of a Cyberattack
Show Notes

In October 2020, the University of Vermont Medical (UVM) Center fell victim to a cyberattack, and the leadership team intentionally shut down their system to prevent patient information from escaping the network. 

UVM Health was offline for 25 days. 

On this episode of Inside the Lab, our hosts, Ms. Kelly Swails and Mr. Mark Moen, are joined by Dr. Toby Cornish, MD, PhD, Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Pathology Informatics at the University of Colorado and Associate Editor for Informatics for AJCP; Dr. Andrew Goodwin, MD, FCAP, Medical Director for the Hemostasis and Thrombosis Laboratory and Vice Chair for Quality and Clinical Affairs; Dr. Christi Wojewoda, MD, FCAP, Clinical Microbiology Laboratory Director and Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine; and Dr. Anne Stowman, MD, Dermatopathologist and Director of Surgical Pathology Operations, to discuss the ransomware attack.  

Our panelists explain when they realized there was a significant issue with their system and what radical workflow changes they initiated to deal with being offline for 25 days. They describe the challenges particular to different departments at UVM and what their teams did to overcome them. Listen in to learn what YOU can do to prepare for a potential ransomware attack in your lab. 

Topics Covered
· When UVM realized there was a significant problem with their system and the leadership team’s initial response
· Why the cyberattack only affected UVM’s primary medical center and not its entire health network
· The radical workflow changes UVM labs instituted during downtime and the support they received from other departments
· What the UVM labs did to reduce the volume of specimens coming into the lab
· The challenge UVM pathologists and laboratory professionals faced in delivering test results manually
· How the experience in the clinical lab differed from that of the anatomic pathology department
· The particular challenges faced in the microbiology and transfusion medicine labs at UVM during downtime
· What alternative technologies the UVM labs leveraged to continue operating during downtime
· Advice to pathologists and lab professionals on preparing for a cyberattack

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