By Navin Balakrishnaraja, practice director for healthcare IT Services, All Covered (IT services division of Konica Minolta).
Technology continues to advance the healthcare industry, providing more precision and improved delivery of care. However, it’s more important and even more challenging than ever for organizations to secure patient information and keep health data safe.
Advancements in cybersecurity measures need to go hand in hand with privacy and still a necessity. The frequency of data breaches in the healthcare industry has been on the rise and healthcare is now the most targeted sector by cybercriminals.
According to the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a healthcare breach resulted in $7.13 million, a 10% increase from 2019. Healthcare has been a primary target in recent ransomware attacks, as you’ve probably seen the headlines and continue to hear it all over media.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have received “credible information of increased and imminent cybercrime threats” aimed at hospitals and healthcare providers in the United States. They released an advisory of this targeted activity to all healthcare networks and that it appears that targeted attacks are only going to escalate.
Because of the immutable, high-value nature of electronic patient health information (ePHI), health data is a gold mine to cybercriminals. On the dark web, the cost of one record averages around more than $400 per record. A large shift in ransomware deployment operations has taken place. Cybercriminals are like psychologists, staying one step ahead of tools and user sophistication. Many of them depend on malware, but the focus has been on gaining privileged access and exploring target networks to disable security processes.
Also, the malwares do vulnerability scans on their end to see where they can inflict maximum damage to organizations. For example, the cybercriminal enterprise behind TrickBot, which is likely also the creator of BazarLoader malware, has continued to develop new functionality and tools, increasing the ease, speed, and profitability of victimization. Cybercriminals disseminate TrickBot and BazarLoader via phishing campaigns that contain either links to malicious websites that host the malware or attachments with the malware.
Loaders start the infection chain by distributing the payload; they deploy and execute the backdoor from the command and control (C2) server and install it on a victim’s machine. This example shows what organizations are running up against, making cyberattacks more intricate in nature.