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Microsoft and google to offer cybersecurity services to rural hospitals

The White House says Microsoft and Google will offer small hospitals free security assessments and up to 75% discounts on cybersecurity tools for up to a year.

Montana hospitals already grapple with data breaches, some leading to lawsuits and settlements.

CEO of the Montana Hospital Association Bob Olson says it’s hard for small hospitals to keep up.

“For a couple of reasons: It is expensive and to find the IT professionals, they’re expensive, and they have the same kinds of problems with recruiting people to be in the more rural communities,” said Olson.

Federal officials say cyberattacks against healthcare facilities more than doubled between 2022 and 2023 andthings are only expected to get worse.

Cybersecurity experts warn that these attacks are not only a threat to patients’ personal information, but they can cripple a hospital’s ability to treat patients if they can’t access records. A rural Wyoming hospital in 2019 turned patients away and some services remained unavailable for weeks after an attack.

Aaron graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism in 2015 after interning at Minnesota Public Radio. He landed his first reporting gig in Wrangell, Alaska where he enjoyed the remote Alaskan lifestyle and eventually moved back to the road system as the KBBI News Director in Homer, Alaska. He joined the MTPR team in 2019. Aaron now reports on all things in northwest Montana and statewide health care.
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