By Jim Holt, EVP

Outdated healthcare IT infrastructure is attracting cybercriminals to hospitals. Healthcare systems of all sizes are at the greatest risk of any industry. Healthcare has been the most cyber-attacked industry over the last five years and an outdated IT and network infrastructure is the most likely penetration path according to a new cybersecurity report by Cisco Cybersecurity Ventures.

The 2019 Cybersecurity Almanac outlines other factors as well. Cybercriminals seem drawn to healthcare because of a lack of experienced cyber personnel, highly valuable data, and vulnerability in their overall infrastructure. The report predicts that ransomware attacks on healthcare organizations will quadruple by 2020 and that the industry will spend more than $65 billion on consulting, cybersecurity products and infrastructure upgrades over the next three years.

In total, ransomware damage costs could hit $20 billion in 2021, up from $11.5 billion in 2019, $5 billion in 2017, and $325 million in 2015.

The No More Ransom online portal is a great resource. It offer free decryption tools, covering over 90 ransomware families. Healthcare will suffer two to three times more cyberattacks in 2019 that the average of other industries. Inadequate security practices, weak or shared passwords, lack of adequate patching processes and code vulnerabilities contribute to attacks on hospitals and other healthcare organizations, according to the report.

Also, Personal health information is 50 times more valuable than financial information, with patient health records fetching up to $60 per record.

Cryptojacking, which is illegally mining cryptocurrencies, is one of the fastest growing cybersecurity threats. Like other cyber crime, hackers take advantage of lapses in cyber hygiene and slow patch management cycles to gain a foothold and spread within a network. If miners can gain access to use the processing power of your networks, then like the “canary in the coal mine” you will have much larger problems ahead.

The Cybersecurity Ventures Report predicts that zero-day exploits will reach one per day by 2021, a jump from one per week in 2015. The number of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks will double to 14.5 million by 2022, according to the Cisco Visual Networking index. DDoS attacks can represent up to 25 percent of a country’s total Internet traffic while they are occurring, the VNI report found. DDoS attack are growing in sophistication and size, now between 1 Gbps and 2 Gbps, an increase of 37 percent between 2017 and 2018.

In hospitals, devices and connections are growing faster than the population. Integrated alarms, smart monitors, video surveillance, asset tracking is making Machine to Machine M2M is the largest contributor to the growth of devices and connections, followed by smartphones and tablets, especially those for clinical communication solutions like Voalte.

You’d be amazed at the money you’ll save by hiring us for a wireless, network and security assessment. We’ll be in and out and you’ll have a report on all of your vulnerabilities and as a bonus your wireless capacity, coverage and network issues that might be labeling your infrastructure – in the “outdated” category.