Ransomware attacks in healthcare industry increases by 133%

The healthcare industry has fought an uphill battle against hackers in 2017—and it shows in the latest Beazley Breach Insights report. The report, conducted by the cyber and data breach response insurance firm, found the rate of ransomware attacks had increased by 50 percent in the first quarter of 2017, with demands up 133 percent.

With global attacks like WannaCry and Petya, the healthcare industry continues to struggle in ensuring its patients that their information is protected. This report hopes to showcase exactly how severe the security problem is for the industry as a way to push organizations toward cyber solutions that protect patient information.

“This continuing high level of accidental data breaches suggests that organizations are still failing to put in place the robust measures needed to safeguard client data and confidentiality,” stated the report. “Since 2014, the number of accidental breaches reported to Beazley's team has shown no sign of diminishing. As more stringent regulatory environments become the norm, this failure to act puts organizations at greater risk of regulatory sanctions and financial penalties.”

In the first half of 2017, the healthcare industry experienced the most cyber incidents due to unintended disclosures, which accounted for 42 percent of breaches, like misdirected emails or the accidental release of discharge papers. Hacks and malware accounted for 18 percent of incidents in the first half of 2017, compared to 17 percent in the first half of 2016.

Beazley recommends integrating prevention and detection tools, using threat intelligence services, educating employees on cybersecurity and threat awareness, and conducting risk assessments on identifying venerable data.