SecurityBrief New Zealand logo
New Zealand's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

Cyberattacks on healthcare organisations "out of control" - Check Point

By Shannon Williams
Wed 6 Jan 2021
FYI, this story is more than a year old

There has been a 45% increase in cyberattacks on healthcare organisations worldwide in the last two months, making healthcare the most targeted industry by cyber criminals, according to new research from Check Point.

The Increase in global cyberattacks on healthcare sector is double the increase (+22%) in cyberattacks on all other industry sectors, the research found, while the average number of weekly attacks in the healthcare sector reached 626 per organisation during November, compared with 430 in previous months.

Surges in cyberattacks on the healthcare sector occurred mostly in Central Europe (+145%), followed by East Asia (+137%), Latin America (+112%), Europe (+67%) and North America (+37%). Canada experienced the most dramatic increase with over a 250% uptick in attacks, followed by Germany with a 220% increase. Attacks on Spain’s healthcare sector doubled.

According to the research, the increase in attacks involves a range of attack vectors, including ransomware, botnets, remote code execution and DDoS attacks. Ransomware showed the largest increase and poses as the most significant malware threat to healthcare organisations, when compared to other industry sectors. The primary ransomware variant used in attacks is Ryuk, followed by Sodinokibi.

Omer Dembinsky, manager of data intelligence at Check Point, says cyberattacks on the global healthcare sector are "simply getting out of control".

"This is because targeting hospitals equates to fast money for cyber criminals. These criminals view hospitals as being more willing to meet their demands and actually pay ransoms," he says.

"Hospitals are completely overwhelmed with rises in coronavirus patients and recent vaccine programmes – so any interruption in hospital operations would be catastrophic.

“This past year, a number of hospital networks across the globe were successfully hit with ransomware attacks, making cyber criminals hungry for more," says Dembinsky.

"Furthermore, the usage of Ryuk ransomware emphasises the trend of having more targeted and tailored ransomware attacks rather than using a massive spam campaign, which allows the attackers to make sure they hit the most critical parts of the organisation and have a higher chance of getting their ransom paid.” 

Security tips for healthcare organisations

1. Look for Trojans – Ransomware attacks don’t start with ransomware. Ryuk and other types of ransomware exploits usually start with an initial infection with a trojan.  Often this trojan infection occurs days or weeks before the ransomware attack starts, so security professionals should look out for Trickbot, Emotet, Dridex and Cobalt Strike infections within their networks and remove them using threat hunting solutions – as these can all open the door for Ryuk.

2.    Raise your guard on weekends and holidays – most Ransomware attacks over the past year have taken place over the weekends and during holidays when IT and security staff are less likely to be working.

3.    Use anti-ransomware solutions – although ransomware attacks are sophisticated, Anti-Ransomware solutions with a remediation feature are effective tools which enable organisations to revert back to normal operations in just a few minutes if an infection takes place.

4.    Educate employees about malicious emails – Training users on how to identify and avoid potential ransomware attacks is crucial. As many of the current cyber-attacks start with a targeted phishing email that does not even contain malware, just a socially-engineered message that encourages the user to click on a malicious link, or to supply specific details.  User education to help identify these types of malicious emails is often considered one of the most important defenses an organisation can deploy.

5.    Patch virtually – the Federal recommendation is to patch old versions of software or systems, which could be impossible for hospitals as in many cases, systems cannot be patched. Therefore, we recommend using Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) with virtual patching capability to prevent attempts to exploit weaknesses in vulnerable systems or applications. An updated IPS helps your organisation stay protected.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
Zscaler, AWS accelerate onramp to the cloud with zero trust
Zscaler has announced an extension to its relationship with Amazon Web Services, as well as innovations built on Zscaler's Zero Trust architecture.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Aqua Security, CIS create software supply chain security guide
Aqua Securityand the Center for Internet Security have together released the industry’s first formal guidelines for software supply chain security.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Threat actors ramp up their social engineering attacks
As people get better at identifying potential threats in their inbox, threat actors must evolve their methods. Their new M.O? Social engineering.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Significant security concerns resulting from open source software ubiquity
"The risk is real, and the industry must work closely together in order to move away from poor open source or software supply chain security practices."
Story image
Compliance
OCEG survey shows demand for connected GRC systems
The survey also revealed that many organisations lack visibility and connected processes to manage the increased velocity and volume of risks. 
Story image
SaaS
Commvault's SaaS division experiences notable growth
Commvault has revealed the global momentum that its SaaS division Metallic has experienced since its launch two years ago.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Greater API usage raises concerns for protection - report
Radware has released its 2022 State of API Security report, which shows a rise in APIs, with 92% of the organisations surveyed significantly or somewhat increasing their usage.
Story image
Cloud
Exabeam expands investment in Google Cloud in fight against cyber threats
The move opens up limitless data ingestion, speed, and scale opportunities for worldwide security teams in their ongoing fight against cybersecurity attacks.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Snowflake launches new cybersecurity workload for the data cloud
Snowflake has announced the launch of a new cybersecurity workload that enables cybersecurity teams to better protect their enterprises with the data cloud. 
Story image
Dark web
Cybercrime in Aotearoa: How does New Zealand law define it?
‘Cybercrime’ is a term we hear all the time, but what exactly is it, and how does New Zealand define it in legal terms?
Story image
Ransomware
More than 90% of cyber attacks made possible by human error
The data are clear, with cyberattacks on the rise in recent years and the cybersecurity situation increasingly complex. 
Story image
Secure access service edge / SASE
Cloudflare adds new capabilities to zero trust SASE platform
New features for Cloudflare One include email security protection, data loss prevention tools, cloud access security broker, and private network discovery.
Story image
Data Protection
Thales solution supports DevSecOps teams with data protection
Thales' CipherTrust Platform Community Edition enables DevSecOps teams to deploy data protection controls into multi-cloud applications faster.
Story image
Robotic Process Automation / RPA
rapidMATION helps Coates achieve success with landmark RPA solution
A strong Robotic Process Automation solution (RPA) can help solve many complex issues that businesses face daily. 
Story image
Cybersecurity
Trend Micro unveils dedicated security for electric vehicles
The cybersecurity company has announced VicOne - dedicated security for the electric vehicles and connected cars of today and tomorrow.
Story image
Manufacturing
Sternum joins NXP, collaborates on IoT security and observability
Sternum has announced it has joined the software partner community of NXP Semiconductors, a manufacturer of and large marketplace for embedded controllers.
Story image
Yubico
New research shows global drive for passwordless authentication
A new study has shown there has been a significant shift towards wanting a passwordless future, but adoption is still in its infancy.
Story image
Collaboration
IT and security team collaboration crucial to data security
Many IT and security decision makers are not collaborating as effectively as possible to address growing cyber threats.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Why is NZ lagging behind the world in cybersecurity?
A recent report by TUANZ has revealed that we are ranked 56th in the world when it comes to cybersecurity - a look into why we're so behind and what needs to be done.
Story image
API
Industry-first comprehensive risk-based API security enhances protection
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become a crucial part of operating web and mobile application businesses and are causing significant economic growth in the digital sector.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Boomi, Limepay, Thales, VMware & Zoom
We round up all job appointments from June 6-16, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Privileged Access Management / PAM
Delinea unveils new Secret Server features and improvements
Delinea has announced new features and enhancements to expand the capabilities of its Secret Server, including design updates and new security controls.
Story image
Wavelink
How Wavelink fosters creativity and careers in the channel
Wavelink is a 100% channel business, with all sales flowing through its authorised reseller partners. It has been a B2B technology distributor for almost 24 years and offers a broad range of software across cybersecurity, mobility, networking, and healthcare.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Palo Alto Networks named Google Cloud technology partner of the year for security
Palo Alto Networks was recognised for helping organisations rapidly transform security operations for future success.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Cybersecurity priorities for digital leaders navigating digital transformation
In recent years, Asia-Pacific has especially been a hotspot for cyberattacks, and as we continue into 2022, it’s evident that the problem is becoming more significant.
Story image
Identity and Access Management
Ping Identity launches corporate venture capital fund
Ping Identity has launched a corporate venture capital fund to foster innovative offerings for the identity security market.
Story image
PagerDuty
Ready for anything with the PagerDuty Operations Cloud
In a world of digital everything, teams face increasing complexity. Ever-growing dependencies across systems and processes put customer and employee experience, not to mention revenue, at risk.
Story image
Ransomware
Rapid7 report examines use of double extortion ransomware attacks
New insight into how attackers think when carrying out cyber attacks, along with further analysis of the disclosure layer of double extortion ransomware attacks, has come to light.
Story image
Manufacturing
Cyber attacks on industrial assets cost firms millions
Some 89% of electricity, oil & gas, and manufacturing firms have experienced cyber attacks impacting production and energy supply over the past year.
Story image
INTERPOL
Hundreds arrested, millions seized in global INTERPOL investigation
A two-month-long investigation by INTERPOL this year involved 76 countries and clamped down on organised crime groups behind telecommunications and social engineering scams.
Story image
APAC
Aqua Security launches cloud native security SaaS in APAC
Aqua Security has announced the general availability of cloud native security SaaS in Singapore, serving the broader APAC region.
Story image
Cloud
QuSecure partners with DataBridge Sites to showcase platform
QuSecure has partnered with DataBridge Sites to showcase its Quantum-as-a-Service (QaaS) orchestration platform, QuProtect.
Story image
Zscaler
Securonix partners with Snowflake, Zscaler in joint venture
Securonix is embarking on a joint technology integration with Snowflake and Zscaler to speed up threat detection and response at cloud scale.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Ingram Micro launches vendor-backed security program
Ingram Micro has unveiled a new program intended to give resellers the effective offerings their customers need to stay safe in the evolving threat landscape.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Schneider Electric and Claroty launch building security solution
Schneider Electric has announced the launch of Cybersecurity Solutions for Buildings, a solution designed to help buildings customers secure BMS.
Story image
Cloud
SonicWall recognises partners and distributors at FY2022 partner awards
SonicWall has recognised its distributors and partners for their efforts in producing the company’s most successful year to date.
Story image
Cybersecurity
BlackBerry launches new Zero Trust Network Access
BlackBerry has unveiled its latest AI-driven security offering, Zero Trust Network Access with CylanceGATEWAY.
Story image
eInvoicing
Airwallex, Xero extend partnership with easier invoice payments
Airwallex has extended its long-term partnership with Xero by releasing a new payment link integration for Xero invoices that will make receiving them easier and faster for Australian businesses.
Story image
Data resilience
Digital resilience in 2022 - A10 Networks releases new study
Of the 250 corporate organisations surveyed, as many as 95% showed high levels of concern for all aspects of enterprise digital resilience.
Story image
Cybersecurity
ConnectWise reveals cybersecurity updates and partnerships
ConnectWise has unveiled new updates to its services and highlighted the importance of cyber insurance at its IT Nation Secure conference.
Story image
APAC
Digital resilience big concern for 95% of APAC businesses
A10 Networks finds of the 250 APAC businesses surveyed, 95% of them are very concerned about all aspects of enterprise digital resilience.
Story image
Network Security
Netskope announces zero trust network access updates
Customers can now apply zero trust principles across a range of hybrid work security needs, including SaaS, IaaS, private applications, and endpoint devices.
Story image
Apple
LastPass announces new capability for iPhones and iPads
LastPass has announced its new save and fill experience, allowing customers to fill in, create and save their credentials directly within the site's form field.
Story image
DDoS
Q1 DDoS and application attack activity reveals surprise result
The cybersecurity threat landscape in the first quarter of 2022 represented a mixed bag of old enemies and new foes. New actors dominated the DDoS threat landscape while application security faced tried-and-true attack vectors.