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STOP. Think. Don’t click the link!

With cyberattacks increasing, employees urged to be extra vigilant

Like other healthcare organizations, Yale New Haven Health has seen a significant uptick in cyberattack threats recently. 

The health system’s Information Technology Services continues to operate in an elevated state of readiness, using a wide variety of tools and techniques to protect our network and ensure we can continue caring for patients.

But ITS can’t do it alone. YNHHS has nearly 30,000 employees. That’s 30,000 opportunities for cyber criminals to access the health system’s computer network to steal information or hijack the network and demand ransom to release it. That can seriously disrupt – even halt – patient care. 

One of these criminals’ favorite and most effective tools for accessing computer networks are emails with links or attachments in them. Once an employee clicks a link or opens an attachment, it releases malware (malicious software) that invades our network.

“Employees should be particularly alert for these ‘phishing attacks,’” said Glynn Stanton, YNHHS chief information security officer. “The criminals have gotten better and better at making these emails look legitimate, which is why we’re constantly reminding people to STOP, think, don’t click the link, and don’t click attachments from senders they don’t know and trust. It only takes one email user to let the bad guys in through the electronic front door by clicking on a malicious email.”


What are some signs of a potentially dangerous email? The example includes some important clues:

  • The sender does NOT use a email.
  • The “external email” banner can indicate a phishing or other “bad” email. DO NOT click links or open attachments from external senders unless you know and trust them.
  • The health system will not send emails like this, which are designed only to get you to open an attachment.
  • If you receive an email you think may be suspicious or malicious:
    • Click “Proofpoint for Outlook” (at the top right, in the Outlook ribbon, then choose “Report Suspicious”); or 
    • Forward the email to [email protected] (also works on mobile phones); or
    • Contact the ITS Service Desk, 203-688-4357 (HELP).