Hospital records and state ministries are full of data on patient’s health. At a time when the health data is brimming, the attackers have hit on the most vulnerable spot. Indeed, this is a time when cyber crimes have started to proliferate and multiply. As per an estimate, these crimes have seen a four-fold increase.
Malicious software attacks have become the norm rather than exception across public offices and health care organizations. At medical offices and hospitals, there is a huge amount of info available on patients’ medical records. All these are at stake. The healthcare industry is puzzled by the sudden increase in cyber attacks.
The most problematic thing among recent developments is that the healthcare industry severely lacks when it comes to security and data protection. The whole scenario has been a simmering pot for so many years. It is just that the Coronavirus has laid the weakness of our institutions bare.
As the number of patients surges in hospitals, most of the staff is dedicated to battling this pandemic and treating the affected. The police forces in 194 countries had been alerted by the Interpol or International Police to the huge threat of cyber attacks targeting hospitals. It had come to light as early as the start of April.
Boston Children’s Hospital was attacked by malware in February. It had impacted the whole network, which at one point or other, had been engaged by a pool of medical professionals and other stakeholders related to the healthcare industry. Computers that served around 350,000 patients statewide had been affected at once.
An era has passed since the screen replaced the paper. Almost every work and record finds its presence on one or the other software in today’s times. There is data on the patient’s prescription and medicine needs. There is a whole catalogue of patient’s illness history. There could be allergies, medical history of the patient, family medical history and a plethora of things make up for the most valuable data.
Attacks through malware are getting more advanced and sophisticated. 83 per cent of health care societies had reported an increase in cyber attacks on them just the previous year. Hackers usually try novel and innovative methods to get the user to share their charts with him.
Attacks by ransomware have become fairly common. Those attacks in the near past serve as reminders to tighten the security shield and fasten the belt of security. If at all, this gets to the point of cyber warfare, there can be horrendous conditions with a situation beyond repair. A huge quantity of data lies at the immediate threat of an impending disaster in cyberspace.
Typical ones like Trojans also harm computer networks and essential data. The ransomware, on the other hand, demands a ransom to loosen its shackles. Since the health industry cannot afford to lose on the data, the ransom is paid in bitcoins.
The employees at the workplace are often tricked into clicking on links and attachments provided in emails that look real but are sent for dangerous purposes. Those become gateways to sensitive information resulting in serious troubles like identity theft and financial fraud.
Health care institutions around the world are working day in and day out to update their security and hire security persons to help them tide these uncertain times.