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France President to shell out €1 billion to strengthen National Cybersecurity Strategy

Following ransomware attacks on two French hospitals late last month, French President Emmanuel Macron has promised to invest €1 billion in a national cybersecurity strategy.

The hospital at Dax and Villefranche-sur-Saône were the two hospitals hit by a file-encrypting malware that blocked the telephone systems. This severely affected the patient care provided by both the hospitals. The hospital administrations were forced to shut down their internet service and other networks to avoid the potential ransomware spread— affecting patient records, surgical devices, medication management, appointments, bed and doctor allocation.

The hospitals had to quickly pivot to a pen and paper approach for administration. Appointments made were canceled and patients who needed emergency attention were transferred to hospitals nearby. Following these incidents, at a press conference, Macron said the attacks showed France’s “vulnerability and the importance of stepping up and investing.”

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