COVID-19: Preventing Healthcare Cyber Attacks

healthcare cyber attacks

healthcare cyber attacksIt is a trying time. Everyone is highly concerned about the health of themselves and others.

How can you worry about cybersecurity? Nevertheless, you must remain vigilant. Cyber attacks persist as the world waits for relief from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The global pandemic has brought out the best in people around the world. However, it has also revealed the worst in some.

People are clearing out store shelves. Unscrupulous retailers are selling goods for as much as possible. Greed has reared its ugly head.

Cybersecurity During COVID-19

We are in the midst of trouble. Relentless hackers continue to exploit our fear.

They also exploit the need for information about COVID-19. They are targeting victims with malware and fraud. Also, there is a sharp increase in the number of healthcare cyber-attacks.

Some of the most known figures in the hacker domain also want to help during this crisis. Two of the most prominent hacker groups have issued statements. They promise not to go after healthcare organizations during the coronavirus pandemic.

Still, it is hard to trust the word of hackers. Also, these groups do not represent the full continuum of malicious online actors.

Resultantly, healthcare leaders must continue to practice vigilance. They must protect sensitive data, despite their current enormous burden.

Hackers Have Raised the White Flag, but Is That Enough?

It is unusual to hear positive news about hackers. Still, they have promised to keep their hands off healthcare organizations. This gesture is their way of helping during the crisis.

Hackers issued a public statement to this effect. In it, the DoppelPaymer ransomware attack group says they will stay away from hospitals. Still, a spokesperson for the group says that they sometimes takedown 911.

If they do, they promise to provide a decrypter code for the ransomware. During the crisis, the group also promises to do the same for drug companies. However, they consider themselves an enemy of the industry.

Still, healthcare organizations face cyber threats from other groups and scenarios. As an example, many healthcare organizations work with third-party service providers.

These external cyber health companies also handle sensitive patient information. They are also still very much on the radar of malicious actors.

Malicious Activity Is on the Rise Despite the COVID-19 Pandemic

Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a massive surge in cyber attacks and fraud attempts. Even amid pleas from peers to dial back activity during this emergency, they continue.

Some attacks include phishing emails. They appear as though they are from leading health organizations. Others are counterfeit requests for donations to charitable groups.

During March 2020, the pandemic started to dig in deep. Simultaneously, speculators registered around 100,000 new domain names. They contained various terms, such as COVID, corona, and virus. Analysts suggest that many of these sites have malicious intent.

There is also an increase in the number of fake websites that imitate real companies. These sites steal people’s information. The sites, called spoofing sites, have increased by 350 percent since January 2020.

That is more than half a million new websites with malicious intent. The FTC forecasts that this will continue. Malicious actors still work to capitalize on people’s fears.

Staying on Alert for Healthcare Cyber Attacks

Healthcare providers currently face many responsibilities. They must continue to divert their focus to protecting networks.

Also, they must continue to secure healthcare information infrastructure. Without it, healthcare operations can come to an abrupt stop.

Case in point, the perpetrators of Ryuk ransomware have targeted ten major healthcare organizations in March 2020. During the pandemic, they continue to focus on healthcare organizations.

The world’s healthcare organizations have reached their limit. At the same time, they must manage the current global health emergency. Malicious actors continue to launch more attacks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the pandemic, hospitals are still a prime target for hackers. This circumstance makes it especially vital that healthcare leaders stay on top of network security.

To fight the global pandemic, healthcare workers need reliable information. Furthermore, they must focus their attention on saving lives. They should not have to worry about protecting themselves from hackers.

Accordingly, organizational leaders must keep cybersecurity in the minds of healthcare personnel. Vigilance is the best defense against hackers.

Because of social distancing policies, many healthcare workers who do not work on the frontline work from home. Accordingly, healthcare administrators must investigate cybersecurity solutions for their remote workforce.

For example, moving target defense (MTD) technology can help. MTD technology enables healthcare organizations to secure a range of mobile endpoints.

Protecting Healthcare Infrastructure

Now, healthcare administrators must pay more attention to security for their remote workforce. Remote workers may include personnel from various departments. These roles can include administration, finance, information technology, and other backend roles.

It makes sense to enable staff members to work from home. However, hackers attack these new endpoint vectors with indiscretion.

Keep Your Network Safe

The COVID-19 outbreak has created significant technological challenges. You must counteract the increased risk of a hospital cyber attack.

Also, healthcare organizations must now exhaust significant resources. They must manage a swell of information.

Furthermore, IT departments must cope with providing a once unheard-of amount of bandwidth. They must also remain vigilant against healthcare cyber attacks.

Additionally, communications infrastructure is collapsing at the last mile. Resultantly, healthcare organizations must assess risks and prioritize bandwidth and tasks.

Now, network security is more important than ever before. Managed IT services can help you to find and eliminate network vulnerabilities.

Say no to ransomware. Contact one of our experts today so that your organization can focus on saving lives.

Sagacent Technologies offers technology management and support, including proactive/preventative maintenance, onsite and offsite data back-ups, network and security audits, mobility solutions, disaster planning, and emergency business resumption services. The company serves clients of 10 to 150 employees within the Silicon Valley region.