A new report by Malwarebytes has observed a 60% increase in threat detections at healthcare organisations in the first three quarters of 2019.
In the latest “Cybercrime tactics and techniques: the 2019 state of healthcare report”, the Trojan malware has been overwhelmingly targeting the healthcare industry – with a reported increase of 82% in Q3 2019.
Threat detections increased 45% between Q2 and Q3 2019. Emotet and TrickBot was identified as the two most dangerous Trojans of 2018-19 for all industries. The report identified a surge in Emotet detections at the beginning of 2019, followed by a wave of TrickBot detections in the second half of the year, thus becoming the number one threat to healthcare today.
The top attack methods utilised by cybercriminals included exploiting vulnerabilities in third-party vendor software, taking advantage of weak security and using social engineering methods such as phishing emails to deliver malicious links and attachments.
The report explained that as a result of aging infrastructure, low IT budgets and a wealth of personally identifiable information (PII), healthcare organisations are becoming prime targets for cyber criminals.
Other key findings from the report included that currently healthcare is the seventh-most targeted industry by cybercriminals – with education and manufacturing taking the top spots in 2019.
“Healthcare is vital to our population, industries and economy, which is why it’s an especially concerning industry to see targeted by cybercriminals,” said Adam Kujawa, Director of Malwarebytes Labs.
“Emotet, TrickBot, exploit, and backdoor detections targeting healthcare organizations are known to drop ransomware payloads later in their attack chains. For too long, these organizations have suffered due to antiquated equipment and underfunded IT departments, making them especially vulnerable. We should be arming healthcare now with extensive security measures because this pattern suggests that ransomware is looking to penetrate healthcare organizations from several different angles.”