Unforeseen problems call for unexpected solutions

The global covid-19 epidemic created new opportunities for hackers to launch cyber-attacks on hospitals, so a global team was assembled to try and do something to combat the unexpected crisis. Join Edith and Craig from the team in charge of fighting back, to see the challenges they faced and how they were overcome.

Covid-19´s Unexpected Threats


Technology has the power to improve society for the better, and “Technology for Good” is something we believe in firmly.

Innovations that are born from this belief have the potential to create positive connections between people. I think our ability to act swiftly was made possible by our shared belief in this idea.

In July 2020, incidents in which hospitals under cyber-attack from hackers were forced to transfer COVID-19 patients to other hospitals began occurring across the globe.

It was shocking news. Hospitals fighting COVID-19 on the front line were coming under cyber-attack. Before this even happened, we had wondered as a team how we could help. How could we support those in the fight against Covid-19?

I came up with the idea to use NTT’s security technologies to help hospitals around the world and emailed my manager right away. I immediately got the green light and started working on it remotely.

Edith became the center of a new team which began planning how to tackle the issue. Unfortunately, there were many obstacles between them and their goal.


When Edith first told me about it, I thought it was a brilliant idea. But we were concerned about the possible overload that could occur due to demands that would come in from around the world.

We created a model from past data and built a program that could be managed with the team. Our next source of worry was if we could staff up quickly to meet the demands that we expected. Incident Response skills are quite specialized, so we needed to ensure we had the right consultants and the right number of consultants.

But as soon as we started asking for help globally we began hearing from many eager volunteers from across the security organization, even more than we anticipated. We administered a test to ensure they had the requisite skills for the tasks needed, then conducted training to fill the gaps. We ended up with a full 35-member team.

All the preparation around Edith’s original idea reached fruition quite quickly and it was all carried out remotely.

The program launched globally in a mere week and half

After the programs launched, we began receiving requests from all over the world including North America, the UK, Europe, South Africa and Kenya. While dealing with the crisis there, hackers redoubled their efforts with new strategies.

We followed the steps the hackers were taking and made it a point to constantly reconfigure the program.

The NTT team is spread across 27 locations around the world, so we always had someone there round the clock to respond to any issues. It’s rare to find an organization doing work like this on this kind of scale. The scope of work was enormous, but our shared goal allowed us to work quickly. Everyone involved took initiative with their own part of the project, which enable us to get the results we did.

Innovating a better world together


Our efforts transcended borders and brought all the team members around the world together as one unit.

We had executives, people from sales, people from the marketing team – everyone held different positions in different areas, but we all shared the same goal: giving our all and doing what we could to help save lives. We received lots of messages of appreciation for the work we did, and I’m very proud of our efforts.

Over 10 hospitals received support from the program. The connections built there have led in turn to new partnerships and business opportunities.

The concept “Technology for Good” was already very familiar to us, which was why we were ready to carry out the project right away. We don’t want to be a company that just sells to clients. We want to be a partner that can help solve problems.

“Technology should be used for the benefit of society. It’s a belief we will continue to uphold to help clients and contribute to society.

Edith Santos

Director, Global Digital Forensics Incident Response, Security Division, NTT Ltd.

Craig Jett

Vice President, Global Cybersecurity Consulting, Security Division, NTT Ltd.

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