In the number four spot, out of 35 identified industries, a great number of ransomware attacks occur in the healthcare sector.
A new study by encrypted cloud service provider NordLocker has placed the healthcare sector amongst the top 5 industries most hit by ransomware attacks.
In the number four spot, out of 35 identified industries, a great number of ransomware attacks occur in the healthcare sector, according to NordLocker.
Some of the affected health companies are leaders in outsourced sterilization of reusable medical devices and hospitals providing diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventative care.
NordLocker says one reason for cybercriminals’ focus on the healthcare industry, is as a result of the overwhelming amount of sensitive data they get to take hold of.
Oliver Noble, a cybersecurity expert at NordLocker explained that information stolen in attacks against healthcare cannot be changed upon the detection of the breach.
“Upon a successful ransomware attack against a hospital or clinic, hackers can get their hands not only on medical data but also on patients’ home addresses and Social Security numbers, which, if stolen, could end up in financial or identity theft scams.”
He, however, said this is not always the case with other data. “You can always change your leaked password or get a new credit card, but your DNA is for life.”
NordLocker said attacks on the industry was forcing healthcare workers to switch from digital to analogue mode, due to their inability to access critical medical records.
Mr Noble blamed organizations failure to adequately invest in cyber security for the increased vulnerability to ransomware attacks.
Ransomware attacks are the most costly due to ransom requests as well as those targeting the companies’ infrastructure, which, if paralysed, leads to the suspension of all operations and therefore great financial losses.