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Cyber attacks on healthcare organizations are surging – here's why

July 3, 2024
ITPro
Contributed by: Drex DeFord
Summary
Healthcare organizations worldwide are experiencing a significant increase in cyber attacks, leading to service disruptions and longer patient waiting times. A report by KnowBe4 highlighted that in the first three quarters of 2023, the healthcare sector faced an average of 1,613 attacks per week, approximately four times the global average. The financial impact of these breaches is considerable, with IBM noting an average cost of nearly $11 million per breach, making healthcare the most expensive sector for cyber attacks. The human cost is also notable, as evidenced by the cancellation of thousands of procedures in NHS England following an attack on Synnovis. In the United States, half of all reported cyber intrusions in 2024 targeted North American institutions, with healthcare being the third-most targeted sector. Despite the frequency and severity of these attacks, many healthcare organizations remain underprepared; 27% do not have dedicated ransomware defense programs. The high value of medical data makes the sector particularly attractive to hackers, underlining the urgent need for improved cybersecurity measures.
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