Cybersecurity Ventures predicts global healthcare cybersecurity spending will exceed $65 billion cumulatively over the next five years, from 2017 to 2021.
The Healthcare industry is projected to be the largest target for hackers in 2017. According to recent reports by Cybersecurity Ventures "In 2017 healthcare providers are the bull’s-eye for hackers." Although the Healthcare sector is predicted to spend more than $65 billion globally over the next five years it's evaluated that the amount not being spent on cyber security is the biggest threat posed against the sector.
Healthcare data will always be desirable for hackers because the Personal Identifiable Information (PII) such as social security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, and more is of high value to hackers as this information never expires. Even Electronic Personal Health Information (ePHI) retains juicy data for hackers to sell. The existence of Bitcoins only fuels and encourages hackers to steal and hold information ransom as their identities are concealed and hospitals pay up big and quickly to re-obtain their poorly secured data.
"Bitcoin is the engine for cybercriminality, and as long as there is an anonymous way for criminals to get paid, it’s not going to get better anytime soon,” he said. “It’s a winning combination for organized crime – There are large organized communities in China and Russia" informs Matt Anthony, vice president of incident response at the Herjavec Group, which sponsored the report.
Hospitals have an urgent need to pay the ransom since they're underfunded, unprepared, and poorly secured. They also desperately just need to recover the files that have been encrypted.
“Hospitals will pay, they’ll pay fast and they’ll pay what it takes to get data back,” Anthony said. “We ask people not to pay but sometimes there’s no alternative in healthcare.”
Damages in ransomware are also predicted to reach $1 billion.
It was also found that healthcare institutions that do have procedures for backing up data either lack the ability to restore data to a usable point, or do not test their backup systems twice a year (or at all for that matter.)
“If they’ve never faced a bad attack, hospitals might be complacent about testing restore technology,”
In 2017 the Healthcare industry needs to understand that the threats they face lies with remodeling their security strategies and reinforcing all systems and back up plans to ensure that they are up to date and secure.
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