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Attacks on Healthcare Industry Increased By 45%

Cyber attacks targeting the healthcare industry by 45% since November, 2020. This increase has made the sector the most targeted industry by cybercriminals when compared to an overall 22% increase in cyberattacks across all industry sectors worldwide seen during the same time period.

The average number of weekly attacks in the healthcare sector reached 626 per organization in November as opposed to 430 the previous month, with attack vectors ranging from ransomware, botnets, remote code execution, and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

Ransomware attacks against hospitals also marked their biggest jump.

Cyber criminals tend to use Ryuk, which emphasizes the trend of having more targeted and tailored ransomware attacks rather than using a massive spam campaign. This allows the attackers to make sure they hit the most critical parts of the organization, putting more pressure on the targeted organization to pay the demanded ransom.

The University of California for example, paid the hackers 116 bitcoin ($1.14 million) after a NetWalker attack on its systems back in June.

Central Europe topped the list of regions impacted by the increase in attacks against healthcare organizations with a 145% uptick in November, followed by East Asia (up 137%) and Latin America (up 112% increase). Europe and North America saw increases of 67% and 37% respectively.

Over the past two months, state-sponsored actors have ramped up their cyber assaults against government health ministries and companies involved in COVID-19 vaccine distribution, not to mention staging ransomware attacks on pharmaceutical firms.

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