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NIHD responds to cybersecurity incident

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NIHD responds to cybersecurity incident

Northern Inyo Healthcare District (NIHD) is taking quick action in response to a cybersecurity incident discovered early Wednesday morning at around 1:47 a.m. NIHD believes there was no impact to patient health or financial records and most NIHD departments remained operational.

The incident involved an unauthorized party gaining access to NIHD's network infrastructure. This has led NIHD to take several precautionary measures to protect its information and systems.

Operating under its Cybersecurity Incident Plan, the District took several key actions to contain any threat and protect its data. Those include:

  • Contacting the company that makes the District’s firewall for assistance in identifying and addressing vulnerabilities.
  • Installing new, stronger firewalls and temporarily halting access through its virtual private network (VPN) as a precautionary measure.
  • Restoring backup copies of data and updating firewall software to the latest versions.
  • Blacklisting certain IP addresses associated with the attempted attack.
  • Checking all servers and workstations for harmful software.
  • Temporarily disconnecting from a third-party medical records system until it is safe to reconnect.

Additionally, NIHD has notified its legal advisors, insurance company, and government agencies responsible for cybersecurity, including the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as the state’s Cybersecurity Integration Center. The District is also working with a third-party incident response team to validate its response and ensure it took all appropriate measures.

“We are committed to maintaining the highest standards of cybersecurity and will continue to enhance our defenses against future threats,” said Alison Murray, NIHD’s Chief Human Resources Officer and the District’s Administrator On-Call. “We are especially thankful to have a nimble and responsive Information Technology Team who got out in front of this incident quickly. We are fortunate to have their expertise on our District’s team.”

NIHD is committed to providing updates on this situation as warranted.