Recently, the ransomware attack dubbed “WannaCry” made global news as it spread across more than 150 countries, infecting hundreds of thousands of devices. A few things made this ransomware attack interesting, such as the operating system the majority of the victims were running.
In recent years we have been seeing a surge of cyberattacks in all industries, but one specifically is really feeling the heat. Due to the sensitive nature of their work, the healthcare industry is particularly susceptible to cyberattacks like ransomware. Ransomware is a form of malicious software that locks users out of their data and threatens to destroy the data if a ransom is not paid. Cybercriminals can not only make a profit by forcing a provider to pay for important files to be decrypted, but they stand to gain a political or socioeconomic upper hand by tarnishing the reputation of certain health organizations.
Last year, the healthcare industry saw an immense rise in ransomware attacks. This trend is expected to increase in 2017. Just this month, Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) in Buffalo, N.Y. had a computer virus shut down the hospital’s computer system. According to a local news report on April 16th, the medical center switched to their backup system to avoid paying the hacker’s ransom.
It’s time to reflect on this past year and resolve to make the next one better. There has been an escalation of hacks in 2016 and it’s not going end any time soon. In fact, cybersecurity threats are becoming more strategic at targeting businesses’ vulnerabilities. As technological developments continue to rapidly advance and the world becomes even more dependent on their devices, we forecast a significate increase of attacks in 2017. Predicting cybersecurity threats for 2017 involves tracking and analyzing this past year’s major attacks as well as anticipating new and evolving threats. New Year’s resolutions are often broken by mid-February but ones that businesses can’t afford to break are those involving cybersecurity. With 2016 quickly ending, we’ve broke down the top cybersecurity threats you need to prepare for in 2017.