Cyber Attacks Threatening the Healthcare Industry

Cyber Attacks Threatening the Healthcare Industry

Mar 21, 2021 / Kron

Today, cyber-attacks threaten the most prestigious companies globally, even companies operating in the field of cybersecurity. The health sector and pharmaceutical companies, which have become the number one agenda item, especially due to the Covid-19 vaccine studies, also take their share from these developments in the field of cybersecurity. So, for what purposes could cyber attackers be targeting the healthcare industry, and what are the most recent events in this regard? You can also learn about cybersecurity attacks in the health sector and discover solutions for possible cyber attacks.

Cyber Attacks that occurred with Covid-19 Vaccine Studies

Hackers started to attack different companies and organizations from the early stages of vaccine studies. The fact that Covid-19 vaccines turned into a great income channel for pharmaceutical companies and an important source of a reputation for countries brought along massive cyber attacks. Even within the first year of vaccine studies, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna affiliated with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and AstraZeneca affiliated with Oxford University have become targets of cyberattacks.

So who is behind these attacks, and what are their purposes? In fact, the answers to these questions are directly related to other large-scale cyber attacks. First of all, it takes extensive knowledge and technological resources to organize cyber attacks against such organizations and companies that have gained a worldwide reputation. Rival companies or even other countries can support these highly-equipped people and technological resources.

Cyber attacks can be carried out for many different purposes when it comes to a vaccine, such as the Covid-19 vaccine, for which superpower countries and global pharmaceutical companies compete with each other. One of the most important targets of cyber attacks that can be carried out to learn the details of the vaccine formula or the competitors' progress is to steal personal data. One of the most recent attacks organized for this purpose is the theft of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine candidates' information and the data of Oxford University patients in November 2020.

Healthcare Industry involves the Most Data Breach in Recent Years

Although the Covid-19 vaccine draws all attention towards the health sector, malicious people have been already targeting this sector for a long time. Information about the patients and the contents of medical products, such as drugs and vaccines, are extremely attractive targets for cyber attackers Cyber attackers, who can make substantial financial gains in this way, have done huge damage to the healthcare sector of about 7.13 million dollars in 2020 alone. According to the IBM Cost of a Data Breach 2020 report, this financial damage suffered by the health sector increased by 10% compared to the previous year. This accounts for the biggest loss on a sector basis.

The health sector ranks first not only in the rate of material damage but also in the data breach rate. As stated in the Risk Based Security report, the health sector's data breach rate rose to a leading position among all sectors, with an increase of 12% in 2020. The fact that data breaches in this sector are noticed much later than in other sectors increases the situation's severity. Therefore, data breaches in the health sector also create problems because they are noticed late, apart from the rapid increase rate.

Possible Measures to Take for Data Security in Health Sector

Like malicious people and malware, the cybersecurity industry also constantly updates itself and develops high-level solutions against possible attacks. The cybersecurity process, which started with simple firewall and antivirus programs, can be shaped in line with the needs of companies and organizations operating in different fields, including the health sector, as a fully integrated and complex structure today. Specially developed software and hardware for high security are used both to detect possible threats and stop attacks.

Privileged Access Management (PAM) is one of the most effective solutions to protect organizations of all scales operating in the healthcare sector against cyberattacks. Privileged Access Management (PAM) incorporates today's most advanced cybersecurity measures providing multi-layer protection such as privileged session manager, two-factor authentication, or data masking. Thanks to its innovative and dynamic structure, it provides all steps from detecting possible insider threats and risks to active protection against attacks. Kron’s advanced access security solutions allows you to protect your critical data flawlessly via its Privileged Access Management platform: Single Connect.

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