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Cyber-attacks targeting health sector

Information technology is influencing practically every business today, from transportation to manufacturing to education. The healthcare industry has seen a substantial transition as a result of technological advancements. Information technology is revolutionizing the healthcare business by leaps and bounds, from electronically checking in patients and updating their medical records to digitally emailing blood test results to patients. The healthcare information technology market is expected to reach USD 390.7 billion by the end of 2024.


E-prescriptions, electronic health records (EHRs), and other tech tools that help people reach health goals like monitoring blood sugar levels or stopping smoking are the most common examples of healthcare information technology. More accurate EHRs/EMRs have been made possible by advances in information technology, allowing patients to get rapid and easy access to numerous healthcare services.


The digital revolution of healthcare in recent years, which has increased since COVID-19, is important element which has impacted the rise in cyber threats. Digitally transmitting health information and storing patient data is now standard practice in the business, but these advancements in technology also offer risks to patient safety and privacy.


A cyber-attack on hospitals in Melbourne's Eastern Health District forced a number of them to shut down their computer systems earlier this year. Staff access to patient information, booking, and management systems was revoked, and non-urgent surgeries were cancelled, adding to the frustration of patients whose procedures had already been pushed back due to COVID-19.


The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), which promotes and protects privacy and information access rights in Australia, verified that the health sector continues to be the most often reported industry sector, accounting for 23% of all data breaches. Between July and December 2020, 539 breaches were reported under the system, up 5% over the January to June 2020 period. Malicious or criminal attacks were the major source of data breaches, accounting for 58 percent of notifications.


According to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), there has been a "substantial surge in healthcare or COVID-19 oriented harmful cyber activity," including money driven cyber criminals targeting the elderly care and healthcare sectors with the "Maze" ransomware.


Medical data is ten to twenty times more valuable than credit card or banking information, making healthcare an appealing target for cyber criminals. Stolen health records can be used to fund illegal activities such as identity theft, blackmail, and extortion. On the dark web, valuable health-related data is frequently accompanied by personally identifiable information (PII), which can be purchased and sold illegally.


At Cybersecurity link, we can offer you numerous services that helps in protecting your businesses from above mentioned threats.

⦁ security evaluation to determine where and how your practice might be exposed to cyber threats.

⦁ Monthly incident reporting with advanced insights on cyber security incidents and network weaknesses

⦁ Incident response guide, so you know exactly what to do in the case of a cyber-security incident.

Visit us on cybersecuritylink.com.au/services to understand more about cybersecurity solutions.

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