Healthcare Among Top Targets of Cyber Attacks

By By Dan Hounsell
March 8, 2021

As healthcare IT managers continue to fortify their organizations’ defenses against attempts to access valuable patient and COVID-19-related data, the extent of the cyber attacks on their system is becoming more apparent.

Cyber attacks on healthcare, manufacturing and energy doubled in 2020 from the previous year as threat actors increasingly target critical industries that can’t afford downtime, according to a new report from IBM, according to Campus Safety. Healthcare jumped from last place in 2019 to seventh place in 2020, possibly driven by COVID-related healthcare attacks, ransomware attacks and attacks targeting COVID-related research. Nearly 28 percent of attacks on healthcare last year were ransomware, which is particularly devastating.

IBM’s 2021 X-Force Threat Intelligence Index illustrates the way cyberattacks evolved last year as hacking groups took advantage of socioeconomic, business and political challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ransomware continues to be the most common attack, and about 60% of ransomware attacks IBM responded to used a double extortion strategy in which attackers encrypted, stole and threatened to leak data if the ransom wasn’t paid.

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Topic Area: Information Technology

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