Stage 8
15:00 - 15:30
Trust us - your health data are safe ... oops.

Short thesis

In May 2017 the WannaCry ransomware attack disrupted hospitals all over the world. The attack should have been a wake-up call for IT security in healthcare - but has anything changed since then? What are the dangers, really? Can hackers harm people or even kill them? Jelena talks about her experiences with IT security in different hospitals and healthcare settings. Together we will discuss possible dangers, but also potential solutions. The aim is to create a safe and secure environment both for patients and employees.


Hospitals are still an attractive target for criminal hackers, also because they are still consideres soft targets. The attacks have different objectives, one of them is to gain access to individual health, medical and personal data. Patients can thus be more or less directly harmed.

As a nurse, Jelena is facing these challenges daily. She sees vulnerability on all levels and in all roles and locations in the hospital – in software, devices, and with humans. The consequences can be severe and harm patients, employees and the hospital itself. The reasons are manifold, e.g. stressed healthcare workers with limited interest in IT security, poorly equipped IT departments, missing updates, ignorance, organisational shortcomings in the hospitals .

We need to understand why IT security in hospitals is so fragmentary. We also need to understand the working conditions in hospitals and the needs of the healthcare workers. We need to understand the system and the processses and how medical devices and computers are connected. We need to think about innovations and IoT, e-health, digital and smart hospitals.

Jelena will show a lot of examples and discuss with Brigitte and the audience how to create awareness so that we can build a safe and secure IT environment in hospitals.