The most prominent infection the hospitals got to see last year was none other than a ransomware attack. This happens on a computer server rather than a desktop, so basically, it controls all the data stored in the system coming from a server. More than one in four healthcare IT employees in North America have admitted to the fact that their computers have had ransomware cybersecurity attacks.
Percentage of the victims:
78% of the American industries and organizations, whereas 80% of Canadian organizations have fallen victim to this horrendous attack.
Kaspersky Lab Confessions:
Rob Cataldo, vice president of enterprise sales at Kaspersky Lab, says that
“Through our study, we found that healthcare employees in North America were confident that their organization would not suffer a data breach in the forthcoming year. However, whether they realize it or not, their industry is suffering hundreds of breaches a year,” He adds: “Healthcare companies have become a major target for cybercriminals due to the successes they’ve had, and repeatedly have, in attacking these businesses. As organizations look to improve their cybersecurity strategies to justify employee confidence, they must examine their approach. Business leaders and IT personnel need to work together to create a balance of training, education, and security solutions strong enough to manage the risk.”
Reasons why the healthcare industry is most commonly attacked:
– The cybercriminals know that hospital data is far more critical than business data in the case that if a patient’s (on a hospital level- 100s and thousands of patients) data is lost or misused, there could be several deaths and severe reactions.
– The healthcare companies try to gain their patient ’s and the public’s trust in any means possible by providing the best services at their site. So if their data has a breach, they will try to pay the ransom first and foremost to get the data back and decrypted. This remains as the main reasons the cybercriminals love to attack the healthcare industry.
– The ransomware attackers ask for bitcoins instead of cash or money. It is easier for them to demand hospitals for bitcoins (one bitcoin is approximately $55,000) because they know the annual income of a hospital.
– One other main reason why the healthcare industry is on the verge of more ransomware attacks is because even though the workers there can try using the backup method (if they have been smart enough to do so and foresee the attack), it can take days and even several weeks to retrieve the information and data. Moreover, until then the workers would have to live on a pen and paper which is a big headache in today’s time.
So hospitals tend to pay the ransom for easy and quick access, and as the cybercriminals know this they take significant advantage of this.