It is estimated that by the end of 2020, there will be more than 50,000,000,000 (yes, billion) connected devices that are part of the Internet of Things (IoT). This is a five million percent increase in IoT devices over the last 20 years. Most of these devices are designed and manufactured for use in homes and vehicles or are wearable devices. These devices include everything from home security cameras to baby monitors, thermostats, car ignition starters, smart watches and even medical devices, such as pacemakers. There are literally thousands of different types of IoT devices that integrate into almost every aspect of your home and work life.
On October 28, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a Joint Cybersecurity Advisory warning of “an increased and imminent cybercrime threat to U.S. hospitals and healthcare providers.” The agencies collectively warned that “malicious cyber actors are targeting the Healthcare and Public Health (HPH) Sector with Trickbot malware, often leading to ransomware attacks, data theft, and the disruption of healthcare services.”
On October 8, 2020, Community Health Systems, Inc. (Community Health) and its subsidiary CHSPSC, LLC entered into a settlement agreement with 28 states for $5 million to resolve claims related to a 2014 data breach. Community Health owns over 200 hospitals across the United States and is one of the largest hospital networks in the country. The multi-state settlement follows a separate $2.3 million settlement that Community Health reached with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (HHS-OCR) in connection with the same data breach.
On September 15, 2020, the New York Attorney General’s Office (NYAG) announced a settlement with Dunkin’ Brands, Inc. (Dunkin) in connection with a September 2019 lawsuit brought by the NYAG against Dunkin for alleged failures to adequately respond to cyberattacks that impacted approximately 300,000 customers. The proposed settlement—which still must be approved by the court—requires Dunkin to, among other things, notify customers impacted by the attacks, maintain specific cybersecurity procedures to prevent future cyberattacks, and pay $650,000 in penalties.
The Attorney General’s Cyber-Digital Task Force has released its first report, which provides a detailed assessment of the cyber threats facing the United States and discusses the ways the Department of Justice (DOJ) is combatting and preparing to combat those threats.