According to a recent CloudSEK report, there has been an increase in cyberattacks in the global healthcare sector. The US healthcare industry alone faced 28% of the total global attacks with India in the second place with 7.7% of attacks.
With increased connectivity, organizations worldwide are becoming susceptible to cyberattacks. The recent spurt of cyberattacks on the healthcare industry is even more alarming due to the looming threat of important patient information being compromised.
A cybersecurity analyst reported that medical devices like insulin pumps, defibrillators, pacemakers, etc. are susceptible to cyberattacks. Such compromised devices can display incorrect readings, cause drug overdoses, and can threaten the life and well-being of the patient.
At the beginning of the year, a cybersecurity firm conducted research on the vulnerability of hospital infrastructure to cyberattacks. It found that 53% of medical devices and IoT devices in hospitals are seriously vulnerable to cyberattacks.
The reason the healthcare industry is being increasingly targeted by malicious attackers owes to the slow pace of the sector to embrace new technology with unpatched medical devices and outdated software. Hospitals also collect and store huge databases of patient information that include medical and financial data. These are very valuable when sold, so try to get hold of sensitive data. The attackers also use ransomware to lock out access and encrypt files until the ransom is paid.
Hospitals must protect sensitive information and ensure cyber-resilience by conducting regular phishing simulations, security audits, and testing disaster recovery and backup systems.
The health sector must take immediate action to create network segmentation, firewalls, and zero trust access to protect their sensitive data.