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Healthcare sector: New hunting field for cybercriminals

Healthcare organisations are subject to more attacks than ever, most of which are attributable to attempts to use a compromised identity

A recent assessment found that the healthcare industry has a cybersecurity problem amid the continuously evolving technology, while advocating the need for more IT specialists in this sector.

SailPoint revealed that virtually all (93%) of the 150 IT and IT security decision-makers from healthcare organisations worldwide had experienced an identity-related security compromise since 2020.

According to the statistics, healthcare organisations are subject to more attacks than ever, most of which are attributable to attempts to use a compromised identity.

According to the company selling artificial intelligence-enabled identity security solutions, organisations should concentrate on artificial intelligence-enabled identity security to address the problem.

Despite this, SailPoint reports that healthcare organisations require assistance in implementing technology due to a lack of integration flexibility (43%), necessary transition skills (42%), and integration expertise (39%). A third (30%) of stakeholders were unable to gain senior buy-in, and almost two out of every five struggled to maintain compliance with rules and regulations.

However, SailPoint says that if a company waits too long to adopt the new technology, it risks operational disruption, endpoint and account breaches, lost sales, data theft, and brand damage.

One of the instances was the attack on a COVID-19 hospital in the Czech Republic in May 2020, which prevented the facility from transferring data from critical clinical systems to its database. The attack was deemed severe enough to shut down the healthcare facility’s IT systems, while patients were shifted to a different facility.

According to another recent analysis from Check Point Research, the number of cyberattacks increased by more than a third (38%) year over year alone in 2022.

Healthcare was one of the most frequently targeted sectors post-2020, thereby raising significant concerns for businesses in this field. According to Check Point Research, the third quarter of 2022 saw a 60% increase in attacks on the healthcare sector compared to the third quarter of 2021, with an average of 1,400 attacks per organisation per week.

According to Arctic Wolf, the average cost of a healthcare breach in the United States has been 10.1 million dollars and the tally is climbing further, with cyberattacks increasing by over 41% since 2020. This same information has been confirmed by IBM’s 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report as well. The healthcare industry has had the highest average cost of a breach for 12 years running.

According to HIPAA Journal, “347 healthcare data breaches of 500 or more records were reported to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights in the first half of 2022 alone”.

Tetra Defense also reported that healthcare accounted for nearly 20% of their incident responses in the first quarter of 2022.

“Healthcare providers store tremendous amounts of protected health information (PHI), don’t always have the resources for cutting-edge defences, and need 24×7 uninterrupted access to their systems to properly care for patients. Threat actors know all of this, which is why healthcare is such a prime target for cybercriminals,” Arctic Wolf commented.

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