June 7, 2021 • RBS

Categories: Security News

RBS research contributed to reporting by NBC Affiliate WESH-2 on the recent breach at UF Health. Watch the video here:

Data Breaches in the Healthcare Industry

There were 3,932 publicly reported breach events in 2020 according to our 2020 Year End Data Breach QuickView Report. In addition, over 37 billion records were exposed, a 141% increase compared to 2019 and is by far the most records exposed in a single year since Risk Based Security has reported on data breach activity.

Healthcare organizations in particular accounted for 12.3% of reported breaches last year. The Healthcare industry has historically struggled with security even before the pandemic – ranking as the second most compromised sector both in 2019 and 2018.

Unfortunately, things are not looking better so far in 2021. Just last month, Healthcare was the sector that had experienced the most breaches:

Florida Data Breaches

NBC WESH journalists reported late last week that University of Florida Health was the latest target of a ransomware attack, putting patient and employee personal information at risk. Since the start of COVID-19, hospitals have been targeted by ransomware groups and despite promises to leave Healthcare organizations alone, Healthcare providers are still being attacked.

At this time, the specifics for the University of Florida Health ransomware attack are not known. We will update this post as details are revealed.

What Can Be Done as an Organization

Healthcare data is extremely valuable to malicious threat actors as it may combine data, including PII, from various sources, all in one convenient place. Hospitals and related organizations will gather data that most businesses do not collect, such as medical history, full financial records, Social Security numbers, and in some cases, biometric data.

With that information hackers can implement detailed phishing schemes and/or perform identity theft. The chances of such attacks is high as COVID-19 has introduced new avenues of attack for malicious hackers.

Given the increased number of attacks on the Healthcare industry, organizations need to ensure that they are taking the proper steps in protecting and disposing medical data. In order to better protect data, organizations need actionable threat intelligence about data breaches and leaked credentials.

“Ransomware operations are everywhere these days because they are profitable attacks. Chasing after the latest malware detection or prevention service isn’t enough to slow these attacks. To combat the threat organizations should focus on continual improvements of their security processes. This means knowing your assets, addressing key vulnerabilities, working toward early intrusion detection, and ensuring robust recovery processes are in place.”

Inga Goddijn, Executive Vice President at Risk Based Security
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