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Incident response firm BreachQuest has released its latest report, which examines the top healthcare threat actors and methodologies, observations from past cyberattacks and insights into the emergence of ransomware, as well as actions and best practices organizations can take to stay safer .
As threat actors continually innovate and use updated variants of ransomware and malware, healthcare organizations need to consider how they can improve their preparedness. Based on the data and unique healthcare challenges, the report offers perspective tips to ensure mitigation of insurability and business resilience. Topics covered include botnets and healthcare; why health data is so valuable; and how healthcare organizations should protect themselves when nearly two-thirds of their breaches come from providers.
While ransomware remains a common attack vector, the healthcare industry as a whole is a prime target for cybercriminals for a number of reasons. Sixty percent of healthcare ransomware attacks took place in the United States. Due to the sensitive information the medical databases contain, the data is considered more valuable and is sold for more money on the dark web or, in most cases, held hostage until a ransom is paid. In the case of encryption, organizations lose many hours trying to recover operations and regain access to the data. Most importantly, organizations are losing the ability to care for their patients. Ransomware attacks are more costly than other types of security breaches because the data is so sensitive and valuable.
Unfortunately, the healthcare industry has been slow to update its legacy systems and keep up with cybersecurity technology, with most allocating a smaller portion of their budget to cybersecurity compared to other sectors. In fact, only 4-7% of a healthcare provider’s IT budget is focused on cybersecurity. However, this number is set to increase. Even as cybersecurity awareness increases, cybercriminals are constantly finding ways to become better and faster.
There is no easy solution for healthcare and data protection organizations. The complexities of nation-state attacks, zero-day attacks, espionage, stolen trade secrets, misinformation, and stolen finances will continue to be a problem for healthcare organizations. However, there are great people and organizations that provide guidance, frameworks, and information and knowledge sharing to help businesses and organizations, including healthcare.
The report contains original BreachQuest analysis and data as well as pooled research from various sources.
Read BreachQuest’s full report.
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