According to a report by Protenus, hacking attacks against healthcare institutions have risen by 42% last year. All these combined have impacted nearly 41 million patient records, with researchers saying the number could be even higher. Reasons for this spike are caused due to COVID-19 breakout and also the weak security protocols followed by healthcare institutions.
Hacking the Healthcare
Healthcare is one of the sensitive industries which should be protected in critical times. Last year’s COVID-19 is one example where attacks on them can incur not just monetary losses, but life too. We’ve even seen a ransomware incident allegedly relating to the death of a woman, and many other obstructions caused due to cyberattacks.
Research made by Protenus, a healthcare compliance analytics described the same, but with factual data analyzed from various authentic sources. Protenus annual research has taken data from over 470 security incidents that happened last year, collated from 609 data breaches submitted to the Department of Health and Human Services, and support from the DataBreaches.net.
Hacking incidents jumped 42% in 2020 as healthcare battled COVID-19. More insights in our newly published Breach Barometer: https://t.co/JPh5aT31Bg #patientdata #patientprivacy #databreaches pic.twitter.com/lbqWgywHns
— Protenus (@Protenus) March 16, 2021
The results are astonishing as over 40.7 million patient records have been impacted, whereas the number could be even higher, says researchers considering the other petty data breaches that weren’t reported. Hacking incidents are so consistent in 2020, with most of them targeting the COVID-19 facilities like remote work and telehealth technologies.
And these records are just from the US, with worldwide statistics counting even more. Another report highlighted the attack on Universal Health Services last year, where it spent about $67 million on revenue and in recovery. Protenus reports clearly mention the sudden spike of cyberattacks on healthcare institutions last year, numbering it at 42% compared to 2019.
Finally, it says the healthcare institutions should follow a zero-tolerance stance and invest not just in patients’ health, but also in their infrastructure to safeguard the data and critical systems. All the data that’s being breached in these incidents either end up for sale in the dark web, or give rise to other cyberattacks like phishing and identity theft.