COVID-19 and cyberattacks have put a lot of strain on the healthcare sector. Since healthcare facilities collect a lot of data, cybercriminals see them as a valuable target. When healthcare facilities are hit by ransomware, it’s not just the health data that’s at risk.
Patients are directly affected by ransomware attacks on the healthcare sector. Ponemon conducted a study of 597 healthcare organizations, and the results are shocking.
Around 70 percent of participants said that a successful attack resulted in patients staying longer.
The same percentage of respondents said the attacks caused delays in medical treatments, which resulted in unwanted outcomes for patients in need.
Ransomware attacks, according to 65% of the participants, resulted in an increase in the number of patients being transferred to other facilities.
A ransomware attack caused more than 35% of respondents to say that medical procedures became more complicated as a result of the attack.
A fifth of those polled said they had seen an increase in patient mortality rate.
Majority of Healthcare Apps Vulnerable to Cyberattacks
Outpost24 revealed that 90 percent of web apps used by U.S. healthcare providers are vulnerable to cyberattacks in its new 2021 Web Application Security for Pharma and Healthcare report.
85% of the top twenty healthcare and pharmaceutical apps are vulnerable. Healthcare firms in the United States deploy a total of 6,069 web apps across 2,197 domains, with 23.74 percent of them running on vulnerable components.
EU providers run 20,394 apps across 9,216 domains, with 18.3% of them running on insecure components.
The average risk exposure for US organizations was 40.5 percent, whereas the same for EU organizations was 32.79 percent.
Recent Attacks on Healthcare Sector
True Health New Mexico suffered a data breach that exposed the personal identifiable information of 62,000 patients.
After one of its workers gained unauthorized access to medical data, Huntington Hospital in New York notified about 13,000 patients of the data breach.
The attackers stole the crucial data of 583,643 patients through a security breach at Utah Imaging Associates.
Healthcare authorities should identify operational vulnerabilities and devise a strategy to resolve digital infrastructure flaws. It’s not just medical data that’s at risk now that threat actors are ubiquitous. Patients have purportedly lost their life as a result of ransomware attacks in some situations. The healthcare sector must be proactive and put in place proper cybersecurity measures and prevent ransomware attacks as soon as possible.