Last year, healthcare systems and hospitals around the world faced a battle on two fronts: the infamous raging pandemic that ravaged the world in fear; and the lesser-known but equally relentless battle – cyberattacks.
Cyber breaches in healthcare increased 55.2% last year, according to a latest study. The increase in attacks prompted the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the FBI, and the US Department of Health and Human Services to issue a warning in late October that according to “ credible reports ” cyber attackers were targeting specifically health care providers and public health agencies.
The increase in attacks on this industry correlates with the fact that devices and machines in hospitals are becoming more and more interconnected. Things like MRIs and thermostats that talk to each other and to the network while providing attackers with virtual backdoors and an ever-increasing surface to exploit.
With the increase in attacks, one can also see an increase in interest in space. New York-based healthcare cybersecurity firm ‘Cylera’ ended up raising significant funds to expand its reach and capabilities. While last month, Palo Alto-based Armis Security, a leader in the IoT security industry, raised $ 125 million for a valuation of $ 2 billion. Looking at these investments and many others, it’s clear that investor interest in cybersecurity in healthcare and hospitals has grown over the past year.
Lately, the industry has seen several massive attacks. In 2015, Anthem – the healthcare provider – revealed that hackers potentially stole more than 37.5 million records after breaching its servers. Two years later, WannaCry (the ransomware) occurred, which infected the UK’s national healthcare system and negatively affected 80 facilities, even when healthcare systems were not the primary targets. .
The attacks do not focus solely on personal records and hospitals. While ransomware has been the weapon of choice against healthcare systems and hospitals, other important data, research and other intellectual property have also been targets.
And after that?
As companies like Medigate, CyberMDX, Cylera and Armis compete against bigger players like Palo Alto Networks in the market, the question of the most likely outcome for many of these players remains. Due to the massive investor interest in this space, there is no doubt that several players could take on the roles of network gatekeepers for global healthcare and hospital networks.