Healthcare Cyberattacks Rise 177 Percent

February 12, 2021

Information technology (IT) systems in healthcare organizations remain squarely in the cross-hairs of cyber attacks, and even as IT managers take steps to prevent and detect intrusions, the attacks are on the rise.

Healthcare data breaches went up 36 percent in the second half of 2020, according to a new analysis from CI Security reported by TechRepublic. In the second half of the year, more than 21.3 million records were breached, an increase of 177 percent from nearly 7.7 million records breached in the first half of 2020.

The 2020 Healthcare Data Breach Report found that criminals worked all angles of the healthcare system, attacking life science and research labs, rehabilitation facilities, hospital systems, and healthcare organizations. 

Hospitals prioritized patient care in the rush to respond to the intense demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, sometimes at the expense of cybersecurity, according to the report. The report found that the shift to remote work, employee churn, new sites of care, and new vendor agreements all expanded security risks and the overall attack surface.

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