Ransomware Attacks on Healthcare Skyrocket

January 13, 2021

The U.S Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warned healthcare organizations in October 2020 to be on high alert, saying a new round of attacks was imminent. Now, new data on ransomware attacks seem to indicate that CISA’s intelligence was right on the money.

A recent report from Checkpoint Security notes that ransomware attacks against healthcare organizations have jumped about 45 percent since early November, according to Forbes. That followed an alarming 71 percent spike in October. Checkpoint notes that healthcare entities were actually the number one target of ransomware attacks that month.

The figures from Checkpoint’s analysis are concerning. On average, they report, these businesses and organizations faced an average of 440 attacks per week in October. By November that had climbed to 626 — nearly 90 attacks every single day.

Why the increased focus on the healthcare sector? The combination of healthy bank accounts and a preponderance of sensitive information is appealing. Threat actors are aware that particular mix tends to make these organizations more willing to pay to recover from a ransomware incident.

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