Cybersecurity: an EU health challenge in the post-Covid era

In September 2020, during the pandemic, the German press reported the first death due to a cyber attack on the Hospital of Düsseldorf University, which caused great disturbance such as postponement of surgeries, and scheduled medical examinations or chemotherapies. Cybercriminals by using malicious software, so called ransomware, invaded 30 servers of the hospital, crashed the system and forced the staff to turn away patients treated in emergency. A female patient was sent to Wuppertal 35 km away and eventually died due to treatment delay. Nearly a year earlier, Campbell County Health, a medical group in Wyoming USA, with 20 clinics across the state, had also been target for cybercriminals.

Scientific advice for politics: The European way

Politics is not an exact science: moral choices, traditions, communication and many other aspects play important roles. But working on politics without caring for scientific evidence is almost certainly a recipe for failure. In the last few years, the European Union has struggled to find its own, formal model for conveying scholarly knowledge in its policies. After a tangled attempt to concentrate this task into a single Chief Scientific Advisor (CSA), the Commission opted in 2015 for a much more complex Scientific Advisory Mechanism (SAM). The High Level Group at the top of the mechanism was appointed in November 2015. The seven prominent scholars that form the committee discuss their first year and a half of work in a debate at the European Conference for Science Journalists, taking place in June in Copenhagen, Denmark.