The Rand blog warns of the possibility of cyber warfare with Russia. But Russia aside, Rand cites “the devastating toll of ransomware on hundreds of hospitals in recent years—compromising access to vital payroll and electronic health records and patient monitoring equipment. Attacks have also impacted U.S. oil and gas infrastructure and crippled the police, telephone, and public transportation systems of many cities.
“These attacks could cost lives; in extreme cases, patients in critical condition have died when they had to be transferred to different hospitals or otherwise had delayed treatment because of the impacts of cyberattacks. And disruptions to other infrastructure could also be incredibly dangerous, like hackers’ (fortunately thwarted) attempts to poison the water supply of a water treatment plant in Florida.
“We don’t know if, when, or how cyberattacks on the United States will occur, but we know that the threat is increasingly real. In the context of a heightened cyber threat environment, emergency managers should actively prepare for cyberattacks and learn to expect the unexpected.”
May the unexpected not occur.