Government Computing

GC Staff Writer

Malwarebytes Labs has named the Emotet and TrickBot trojans as the two most major threats faced by healthcare organisations across the world in 2019.

The cyber security company in its ‘Cybercrime tactics and techniques: the 2019 state of healthcare’ report revealed that the number of threats from trojans, riskware, and hijackers moved up by more than 80% this year compared to 2018.

The company said that detections of the Emotet trojan surged at the start of the year before they were taken over by TrickBot in the second half to become the leading threat to healthcare, as of today.

Malwarebytes Labs said that cybercriminals choose healthcare industry as a target because of the large database of patients’ personally identifiable information it provides. Also, a lack of sophisticated security model, and a vast number of endpoints, and other devices connected to the network, make the healthcare industry vulnerable to cybercriminals.

Currently, the report found that medical industry has been ranked as the seventh-most targeted industry by cybercriminals.

Malwarebytes Labs said that cybersecurity for the healthcare industry is an afterthought with doctors tending to use legacy hardware and software. On the other hand, staffs do not have an expertise in cybersecurity in installing updates and patches on time, while several medical devices do not have any security software, said the company.

The company stated: “What we found is that healthcare-targeted cybercrime is a growing sector, with threats increasing in volume and severity while highly-valuable patient data remains unguarded.

“With a combination of unsecured electronic healthcare records (EHR) spread over a broad attack surface, cybercriminals are cashing in on industry negligence, exploiting vulnerabilities in unpatched legacy software and social engineering unaware hospital staff into opening malicious emails—inviting infections into the very halls constructed to beat them.”

It can be recalled that a ransomware called WannaCry disrupted the functioning of the NHS trusts in England in May 2017, leading to the cancellation of nearly 7,000 appointments and operations.

As per a National Audit Office (NAO) investigation, the WannaCry attack affected at least 34% of trusts in England with 37 trusts locked out of devices, while a further 44 were not infected but faced disruption.

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