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The Rise of Ransomware

  • Nicola Jedrej
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It’s long been known that health insurance plans are a valuable target for cyber-attacks due to the wealth of personal information stored, but new figures illustrate the scale and sophistication of the current threat. With more health services now migrating to digital platforms, how prepared are you for ransomware attacks and outages?

Microsoft’s Digital Defence Report shows increase and frequency of cyberattacks, with ransomware as the most common cause for incidents. In total, Microsoft blocked 13 billion malicious and suspicious emails in 2019, out of which more than 1 billion were URLs set up for the explicit purpose of phishing credential attacks.

During times of crisis, such as COVID-19 these activity levels are set to continue, preying on people’s insecurities, and using established techniques such as phishing emails, malware and ransomware. Concerningly, Microsoft also observed attackers exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to ramp up their deployment time on a victim’s system, quickly compromising, exfiltrating data, and then often dropping a ransomware payload.

What would be your policy to deal with such a ransomware attack, when the patient or customer data has become encrypted and blocked?

Several health plans have already become victims such as Universal Health Services and no doubt there are more to come as we continue living and operating in a digital domain for patient care.

 

 

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