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Rise in Healthcare Data Breaches Driven by Ransomware Attacks

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There was a general rise in cyber crime in 2020 due to pandemic conditions, but one notable trend that stood out was a spike in the number of major healthcare data breaches. A new report from cybersecurity firm Tenable reviews the entirety of 2020’s publicly disclosed breaches (along with the first two months of 2021) and finds that this spike can be overwhelmingly attributed to ransomware attacks.

The healthcare industry has a natural appeal to ransomware groups as patient care facilities are a category that is uniquely poorly positioned to tolerate network downtime. However, this industry was not particularly heavily hit until 2019 as these facilities also do not tend to be able to pay the large ransoms that cyber criminals are showing a strong preference for. While root causes of individual breaches can be difficult to trace, evidence presented in the report indicates that a tendency to not keep up with patching known vulnerabilities (combined with the increasing value of medical records on the black market) might be what has drawn increased criminal interest in the industry. Ransomware attacks on healthcare industry becoming more frequent and more costly

The Tenable Research 2020 Threat Landscape Retrospective is not good news […]

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