Is the global healthcare industry in crisis? Rising cyber attacks target health care facilities.

August 13th, 2021 by admin

A doctor working on a tablet while placing their stethoscope on their desk in front of a binder full of paper

Every industry from banking to retail, from fashion to healthcare are in crisis when it comes to cybersecurity risks. There is no industry or market on the planet that is safe from the increasingly digital attacks initiated and executed by adversaries to fulfill their malicious agendas. However, cybercriminals have now set a keen eye on the healthcare industry as the current situation of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has healthcare facilities working at their fullest capacities with little to no time to maintain and upgrade cybersecurity measures.

Why healthcare cybersecurity risks are increasing?

The global healthcare industry is high on the hit list of the cybercriminals due to a number of reasons. And despite the usage of the most advanced cybersecurity defenses, healthcare facilities worldwide are still struggling to maintain their state of digital security.

Let’s have a quick overview of some of the major reasons why the healthcare industry has become a prime target of hackers.

1- COVID-19 pandemic

We live in an era where fast food and home delivery services have made the quality of lifestyle rather unhealthy. Poor eating habits and poor diet has not only become a leading cause of deaths in the world but has also left a huge population of the world unhealthy.

Hospitals and other health facilities are usually busy with normal routines due to the increasing number of patients worldwide. And then strikes the COVID-19 pandemic. Now healthcare facilities are working at their fullest capacities and all the attention of professionals has been diverted to managing and treating patient and the aspect of maintaining digital security is being neglected in the process.

For hackers and cybercriminals, timing for executing malicious digital attacks on healthcare facilities couldn’t be better. This is backed by FBI revealed data showing that during the pandemic, cyberattacks increased to a whopping 400%.

2- The use of IoT devices

Technology has without a doubt improved the working efficiency in all the industries, including healthcare. However, it also has opened a door for hackers to abuse the technological applications and devices to fulfill their illegal goals.

Nowadays, the internet of things(IoT) devices are being used in every healthcare facility to record and manage the sensitive information of patients and employees to make things easier and more efficient. However, studies have confirmed that IoT devices being used in healthcare facilities drastically increase the chance of cyberattacks. Likewise, another major study revealed that 100% of the digital web-applications being used by healthcare infrastructures are vulnerable to advanced cyberattacks.

3- Low cybersecurity awareness

Lack of knowledge is the key aspect that makes the majority of cyberattacks successful. One of the biggest problems faced by all industries is that employees and users are not aware of the latest cybersecurity threats. The majority of health workers do not have computer science backgrounds and are not that tech-savvy when it comes to computers and digital security. ​

It is a normal practice in the healthcare industry to provide basic training to their health workers regarding the use of different IoT gadgets and equipment. However, they are not provided with the essential knowledge regarding data security and privacy. This is why they fail to recognize potential security threats and make mistakes that lead to large-scale cyber incidents. Industry leaders reveal that 90% of cyber successful espionage happens due to human error.

Times have changed, the skills of hackers have become much more advanced, and attack vectors of cybercriminals are now more sophisticated that can even fool the most advanced cybersecurity solutions available in the market today. At Equinox we firmly believe in innovation. We leverage the power of advanced cloud computing and artificial intelligence to deliver unparalleled IT services that can reinforce your cybersecurity state in no time. Because most of our clients are in the healthcare industry, we know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two (thanks, Farmer’s Insurance). We feel confident that we can help you out during these hard times. Schedule a consult with us today to see how we can help.

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