Cyberattacks on hospitals and healthcare organisations have emerged as a top hacker trend in 2020, as monthly cyberattacks per healthcare organization jumped 37 per cent in the last 12 months, said a report.
In November and December 2020, cyberattacks targeting healthcare organisations globally increased by 45 per cent – Double the global increase of attacks seen in the same time period across all industry sectors, said the company’s “2021 Security Report.”
Recent Check Point Research from October showed that healthcare is currently the most targeted industry in the US, with a 71 per cent increase in attacks compared to September.
One of the most prolific cyber threats hospitals and healthcare organizations face is ransomware. Behind ransomware is the hacker technique of what is known as “double-extortion”.
Here, a cybercriminal launches a multi-stage ransomware attack, combining the traditional encryption of the victim’s files with the exfiltration of data.
The attacker then threatens to release the breached data publicly unless the ransom payment is paid within the designated timeframe, Check Point said.
This puts additional pressure on victims to meet the attackers’ demands, as well as exposing the victim to penalties from data watchdogs, and the need to alert affected patients and partners whose data was breached.
Research shows that in Q3 2020, nearly half of all ransomware incidents involved the threat of releasing data stolen from the target organisation, Check Point said. On average, a new organisation becomes a victim of ransomware every 10 seconds worldwide, it added.