Technology in the healthcare industry is exciting. It’s also rapidly growing with new advancements constantly on the horizon. These advancements are also beginning to have more and more in common. One similarity is that the devices have network connectivity, or in other words are a part of the rapidly expanding Internet of Things (IOT) and can therefore be compromised and used in a cyber-attack.
It’s unfortunately ironic–these wonderful new technologies inspiring the industry and saving lives, are also the same tools used to devastate the healthcare industry in a data breach.
Medical history and patient information are some of the most sensitive data out there. With everything from credit card numbers on file for medical billing to “extremely sensitive information about patients,” there is a lot that attackers can exploit in this field.
According to The State of Healthcare Cybersecurity report from Malwarebytes “there’s already been a 60% increase in trojan malware detections in the first nine months on 2019 compared with the entirety of 2018.”
It’s an industry currently under intense attack.
The two strains of malware responsible for this increase both started as banking trojans, Emotet and Trickbot. Both are used by attackers “as a gateway to deliver other malicious payloads and both Trickbot and Emotet have been known to drop ransomware onto compromised systems.”
Throughout the course of the year there have been many hospital networks affected by these trojans. Falling victim to attacks that encrypt their systems leave hospitals with no choice but to pay the ransom, especially if an attack could jeopardize patient care.
The director of Malwarebytes Labs Adam Kujawa says, “Healthcare is vital to our population, industries and economy, which is why it’s an especially concerning industry to see targeted by cybercriminals.”
This concern is growing fast and needs to be addressed quickly, because as the IOT devices in biotech and healthcare continue to flourish, the likelihood of an attack increases.
Adam Kujawa added “For too long, these organizations have suffered due to antiquated equipment and underfunded IT departments, making them especially vulnerable. We should be arming healthcare now with extensive security measures.”
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