IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Governments urged to work together to stop health care cyber attacks

Red Cross among those calling on governments to address coronavirus-related cyberattacks

The CyberPeace Institute has called for an end to coronavirus-related cyber attacks and is asking governments to step up and take action.

Joined by the Red Cross and 48 other former and current international leaders, the institute released a letter urging governments to work with one another to stop cyberattacks on hospitals and international health organizations amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The institute’s letter comes just weeks after health care sectors in the Czech Republic, France, Spain, Thailand and the US have fallen prey to various cyberattacks, ranging from ransomware to disinformation campaigns. 

When successful, these attacks have endangered lives by interrupting health care services but have also slowed the dissemination of accurate information and healthcare supplies. 

To this end, the CyberPeace Institute, along with other signatories, have called on governments and the United Nations “to reaffirm and recommit to international rules that prohibit such actions, and to join forces with civil society and the private sector, to ensure that medical facilities are respected and protected, and to hold attackers accountable.”

“As healthcare professionals are protecting us in the real world, it is up to civil society, industry and governments to collectively act for their protection in cyberspace”, said Stéphane Duguin, CEO at the CyberPeace Institute.

“In this effort, humanity needs governments to work together by setting the tone and the example, to ensure healthcare is protected, and perpetrators are held accountable.”

Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross added: “We’re in the midst of the most urgent health crisis in modern history, and these attacks threaten all of humanity.

"We must take action collectively to ensure this threat is addressed, and already fragile health care systems, particularly in countries affected by war and violence are not put at further risk by cyber operations.” 

The letter was published on the CyberPeace Institute’s website and has since appeared as a full-page advertisement in The New York Times and The Guardian.

Other notable signatories of the letter include former Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov; former UN high commissioner for human rights Zeid Raad Al Hussein; former director general of the World Health Organization Margaret Chan; former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo; and Microsoft president, Brad Smith.

Featured Resources

The state of Salesforce: Future of business

Three articles that look forward into the changing state of Salesforce and the future of business

Free Download

The mighty struggle to migrate SAP to the cloud may be over

A simplified and unified approach to delivering Enterprise Transformation in the cloud

Free Download

The business value of the transformative mainframe

Modernising on the mainframe

Free Download

The Total Economic Impact™ Of IBM FlashSystem

Cost savings and business benefits enabled by FlashSystem

Free Download

Recommended

Over 200,000 DrayTek routers vulnerable to total device takeover
Security

Over 200,000 DrayTek routers vulnerable to total device takeover

3 Aug 2022
Data on 69 million Neopets users stolen and listed for sale on hacker forum
Security

Data on 69 million Neopets users stolen and listed for sale on hacker forum

21 Jul 2022
What is zero trust?
network security

What is zero trust?

14 Jul 2022
An analysis of the European cyber threat landscape
Whitepaper

An analysis of the European cyber threat landscape

8 Jul 2022

Most Popular

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

29 Jul 2022
Samsung proposes 11 Texas semiconductor plants worth $191 billion
Hardware

Samsung proposes 11 Texas semiconductor plants worth $191 billion

21 Jul 2022
Should you take your password manager off the internet?
Sponsored

Should you take your password manager off the internet?

28 Jul 2022