Recently, the healthcare industry has been facing a new type of hazard; bad actors have started targeting hospitals and other healthcare facilities for cyberattacks. This industry is particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks because healthcare providers depend on up to date information from electronic health data.
Trends in Malware Attacks against United States Healthcare Organizations, 2016-2017
The healthcare industry has begun seeing a new hazard develop against them- the threat of cyberattack. Beginning in 2016, healthcare organizations in the United States have been targeted for malware attacks, a specific type of cyberattack. During malware incidents hackers can lock users out of their own network to gain access to information or to hold the organization for ransom. With the increase in medical technology and the need for access to this information to provide critical care, this type of incident has the potential to put patient lives and safety at risk.
Results: Malware Attacks, United States 2016-2017
Overall, this study discovered 49 reported cases of malware attacks on U.S. Healthcare Organizations during 2016 and 2017. There were 22 malware attacks in 2016 and 27 malware attacks in 2017. Figures 3 and 4 present these healthcare attack cases, respectively. This analysis has shown attacks occur all over the country and take place all year long. The data collected showed there were malware attacks on HCOs in 13 states in 2016 and 20 states in 2017.