Healthcare organizations have become a primary target for cyberattacks as valuable patient information continues to grow in healthcare databases. Hackers are always looking for ways to steal this information, which can often impede the ability of hospitals and other healthcare entities from offering care or services to patients. All individuals working for a healthcare organization have an obligation to be mindful of numerous cybersecurity attacks. In this course, users will review some of the most common attacks that have recently hit the healthcare industry.
Known as one of the most dangerous threats to healthcare companies, ransomware attacks often take place on a large scale. Recent attacks have locked computers and phone systems across multiple locations. There are several ways in which a ransomware attack can be performed. However, the end goal of each attack is always the same: to force victims to send a ransom payment to regain stolen data or access to critical systems. Hackers often obtain this information through phishing attacks sent out to different divisions within the organization. Nontechnical users shouldn’t automatically assume they aren’t a target for these attacks. In most cases, cybercriminals look outside technical teams to find holes in the organization’s network.
Healthcare personnel should always be equipped to enact the company’s breach response plan in the event ransomware compromises the network. Acting quickly gives IT professionals the best opportunity to attempt cleaning out the malware from the system and roll back the damage that’s been done. Unfortunately, many healthcare providers have been forced to make the payments requested by the hacker. The best way to prevent paying these criminals is to cut off their initial attack by using strong cybersecurity awareness at all times.
A Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack is a malicious attempt to disrupt business operations and normal traffic of a targeted server, service, or network. DDoS attacks accomplish this by overwhelming the target or its surrounding infrastructure with a flood of internet traffic. Cybercriminals who use DDoS to attack healthcare organizations are not motivated by ransom payments. Instead, DDoS attackers are often looking to merely make a statement.
Patient data is extremely valuable for cybercriminals. Hospitals and healthcare providers often hold patients’ names, addresses, medical records, Social Security numbers, and even banking information or credit card numbers. Hackers can use this information to commit identity theft or sell the information in illegal markets on the dark web.
It’s vitally important for healthcare organizations to exercise maximum cybersecurity to protect patient files. Hackers are always looking for ways to steal this information, which can often impede the ability of hospitals and other healthcare entities from offering care or services to patients. Some of the most common attacks plaguing healthcare providers today include ransomware, DDoS attacks, and data breaches.
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