The COVID-19 pandemic has truly taken a toll on hospitals, keeping their hands full with patients suffering from the virus, and cybercriminals looking to disrupt their operations.
Hospitals and healthcare facilities have long been popular targets for ransomware attacks, but it appears that their current state of vulnerability has made them even more desirable targets, as cybercriminals have shown in recent months.
Wave of attacks
In a recently issued joint alert, the FBI, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) warned that they had “credible information of an increased and imminent cybercrime threat to US hospitals and healthcare providers”.
A few months prior, on September 27th, healthcare giant Universal Health Services (UHS) fell victim to a ransomware attack which affected all 400 of its sites across the US and UK, though in an official statement, they wrote that "no evidence of unauthorized access, copying or misuse of any patient or employee data has been identified to date".
And in another recent incident in Germany, a worst case scenario became a grim reality. After Germany's Düsseldorf University Hospital was targeted (apparently unintentionally), the hospital was unable to accept emergency patients, resulting in a woman's death; a death directly caused by a ransomware attack, the first recorded instance of this to date.
An MSP remedy
The above examples will probably not be the last ones we hear about this year. As long as the pandemic persists, hospitals around the world will remain overloaded with patients, vulnerable to all kinds of cyber attacks, and in dire need of protection.
This is why now more than ever, MSPs have a duty to step up and protect their clients in the healthcare sector from these threats: educate them on ransomware, the dangers of phishing and downloading suspicious attachments, the importance of using strong and unique passwords.
Sign up for MYKI for MSPs today and start taking control of your digital identity.