2023’s global cyberattack disaster: healthcare #3 in weekly attacks, 10% of organizations ransomwared–report

An average of 1,100+ cyberattacks per organization per week. Let that sink in.  While it represents only a 1% increase over 2022, and averages are well…averages, this is a lot to handle for any organization even if nowhere near the weekly average.

The report from Check Point Software Technologies, Ltd. an Israel (Tel Aviv HQ) and US-based IT security organization, is depressing reading for any company, especially for healthcare. (Editor’s note: Check Point’s data is derived from ThreatCloud AI, their intelligence engine.) Many of the large numbers are boiled down to averages per organization per week.

  • In terms of general cyber attacks globally, healthcare is #3 with an above-average 1,500 per organization per week attacks on average, right behind #2 government and military, with education far ahead, #1, with 2,046 per organization per week. It was up 3% versus 2022.
  • Retail and wholesale attacks are up 22% annually–a cautionary note for healthcare organizations engaging in retail operations.
  • Regionally, APAC (1,930 attacks) and Africa (1,900 attacks) led with increases at 3% and 12% respectively.

We not only must be concerned with ransomware–but mega-ransomware. These include zero-day exploits (a software flaw exploited by the hacker/ransomwareiste before the vendor or developer finds it). Rather than being content with encrypting data and demanding bitcoin for its release, the hyper version is now data theft followed by extortion campaigns threatening public disclosure of the stolen data, such as by MOVEit and GoAnywhere. Not mentioned here is another vector–business associates and vendors, using ‘social engineering’ tactics to steal passwords and other secure information to gain access into the larger system [TTA 24 Jan

  • 10% of global organizations were targeted by a ransomware attack, up 3 percentage points from 2022
  • Healthcare again was above average, #3 with 12% of organizations experiencing attacks. Government/military was #2 with 16% and education/research with 22% of organizations. 
  • The Americas went up from 5% in 2022 to 9% in 2023. APAC and EMEA were higher and also increased

Advice they give on security is logical: robust data backup, cyber awareness training, up-to-date patches, stronger user authentication, implementing anti-ransomware solutions, and utilizing better threat prevention. Can healthcare do this while leaning out IT, fighting collapsing margins, and transforming care delivery?

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