Healthcare is now the industry most targeted by hackers - BizCommunity - 19 Jul 2022

Healthcare is now the industry most targeted by hackers - BizCommunity - 19 Jul 2022

BizCommunity - 19 Jul 2022

Global reports indicate that healthcare data breaches reached a record high in 2021. Indeed, healthcare now sees more cyberattacks than any other industry.

Fully one-third of all cyberattacks are aimed at healthcare institutions. Why? Because healthcare is a valuable and vulnerable target.

South Africa is no stranger to this trend, with pharmacy giant, Dischem, hitting the headlines in May this year with a breach that resulted in over 3.6 million records exposed following the attack.

Hackers go after healthcare because patient data and hospital systems are lucrative prey. Hackers know they can demand a high ransom if they compromise patient data or healthcare systems.

They also know healthcare organisations will likely pay the ransom — and fast because compromised data and systems can cost lives in a hospital setting.

Hospitals, of course, rely on constant and immediate access to patient data to deliver care. If they don’t have that access, people may become even more ill and die. Almost one-fourth of healthcare institutions hit by a ransomware attack in 2019 and 2020 reported increased patient death rates after the attack.

Unfortunately, attacks on healthcare will only increase in the years ahead. Indeed, some hacking groups focus solely on attacking healthcare organisations. In April of this year, the US Department of Health and Human Services warned the healthcare industry about “an exceptionally aggressive” ransomware gang called Hive dedicated to targeting healthcare and favours double extortion.

It demands one payment to unlock data it has encrypted and another payment to prevent the data from being publicly released.

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