According to a recent report by Lloyd’s of London®, a global cyberattack could trigger an estimated $53 billion in economic losses, more than the cost of the catastrophic disaster Hurricane Sandy that hit the United States in 2012. “Cyber risk is a growing global threat,” the report stated. “While digitization is revolutionizing business models and transforming daily lives, it is also making the global economy more vulnerable to cyberattacks.”
The estimated $53 billion in losses from this hypothetical cyber-attack comes from risk-modeling firm Cyence™, which examined potential economic losses from the theoretical hacking of a cloud service provider and cyberattacks on computer operating systems run by businesses worldwide. We know healthcare has been one of the hardest sectors hit in recent months with large-scale attacks like WannaCry.
Why, though? With medical records including personal information like first and last name, birth date, insurance details, diagnosis codes, and in the U.S., billing information, healthcare data is reportedly around 10 to 20 times more valuable to a cybercriminal than credit card details. The financial potential of such a security breach has ensured that the methods of cyber-attacks will only become more sophisticated. An attack like WannaCry wasn’t a one off, and it probably won’t be long until something similar occurs again.
Cybercrime is no longer driven by the individual acts of basement-dwelling loners. It has grown to become an industry in itself, with vast amounts of money there for the taking for any attacker willing and able to exploit organizations’ weaknesses.
As attackers become more ingenious, the healthcare industry will become more vulnerable. The damages associated with a data breach range from fiscal devastation to more sinister outcomes, with cyber-attackers even able to compromise medical devices remotely. It’s no surprise that the cybersecurity market is expected to rise to $202.36 billion by 2021, as companies and organizations seek to equip themselves to face the evolving threat landscape.
Beyond financial investment, other steps can be taken to help ensure your healthcare organization is well-placed to defend itself. End-user education is perhaps the most pressing and readily applicable. End-user devices represent a litany of potential security threats that could be exploited by the right (or in this case, wrong) person. Employees or users who are unaware of the dangers of, say, opening a rogue file, pose an enormous risk to a healthcare organization. Proper end-user education into how and why cyber-attacks take place can help reduce the risk that your organization will fall victim to the new wave of cybercrime.
Find out more about how you can protect against cyber threats with SolarWinds® here.