HBI Deals+Insights / News

Ransomware attacks on health care triple

Health care operators are being heavily targeted by ransomware fraudsters. Research from cybersecurity firm Barracuda suggests attacks tripled over the past 12 months, compared to last year. Two thirds of health care organisations were hit by ransomware in 2021 – up from a third in 2020 – according to a survey covering 31 countries, by software security firm Sophos which released its annual report on ransomware in June.

Click here to read our interview with a cybersecurity expert on what health care providers can do to protect themselves against ransomware attacks.

The Barracuda research, which can be viewed here, analyses 106 highly-publicised ransomware attacks from across the world over the past 12 months, 12% of which were in health care, making it one of the top three most targeted industries in this sample.

Even more worryingly, the number of attacks on health care was more than three times the number Barracuda found last year.

But these figures should be taken with a pinch of salt as these were only the highly publicised cases which Barracuda was able to get specific data on and may not be a totally representative sample. Far more cases go unpublicised as organisations often do not disclose when they have been the victim of an attack.

But Sophos’ research also found that health care was one of the most targeted industries (it came in sixth). It also found that health care was the industry most likely to pay the ransom, with 61% of respondents who were attacked saying they paid the ransom.

We would welcome your thoughts on this story. Email your views to Martin De Benito Gellner or call 0207 183 3779.