The risk of cybersecurity breaches for healthcare networks has gradually escalated following the continued digitization of data in the medical industry, as well as the affects of the pandemic.

A few specific risks pose the biggest threats to the medical industry. As is the case with many sectors, the most common cybersecurity threat facing healthcare is human error. Non-malicious misuse of company systems and employees falling for phishing attacks are common security issues across medical organizations.

In some cases, this is as simple as an employee clicking a wrong button or overlooking a step, accidentally exposing sensitive data. However, the implications are often far more severe. Healthcare professionals aren’t usually cybersecurity experts, and many fall for avoidable phishing schemes, leading to more dramatic instances of cybercrime.

One of the most concerning of those more severe threats is ransomware. At least 91 health organizations suffered ransomware attacks in 2020—almost double the 2019 figure. These attacks affected the data of more than 18 million patients and cost $9.42 million on average.

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