The latest figures from the US-based cybersecurity and technology company highlight that healthcare is the fifth most targeted sector worldwide in terms of data extortion ransomware attacks (the industrials and engineering sector was the worst affected industry, followed by manufacturing, technology and retail). In 2020, the global healthcare sector reported 97 data extortion ransomware attacks.
The 580-per-cent increase in ransomware attacks on the healthcare sector came following countries worldwide declaring public health emergencies and forming and developing healthcare organisations with sensitive information relating to Covid-19 positive cases and scientific research into possible treatments, according to CrowdStrike. The company adds that the race to get vaccines developed, approved and administered to patients was ‘equally as valuable to ransomware actors’.
“It’s clear data extortion has become the most lucrative ransomware method used by cybercriminals worldwide and the Covid-19 pandemic has certainly accelerated this shift,” CrowdStrike said. “The data also highlights that healthcare organisations have become one of the main targets for ransomware attacks, meaning now, more so than ever, organizations need to invest in and strengthen their cybersecurity defences with products including cloud-delivered endpoint protection.”
In late February, French President Emmanuel Macron announced plans to provide funding to protect hospitals and other organisations from the growing number of cyberattacks.