The 5 Most Troubling Healthcare Cyber Breaches in 2021

Tragically, hospitals and healthcare institutions have become frequent targets of hackers and cybercriminals in recent years. Hospitals are being actively targeted by cybercriminals who want to steal data to either sell it or even use it for blackmail.

These attacks have far greater costs than simply looking at them from a financial perspective. A cyberattack on healthcare is greater than simply attacking computers; it can potentially put patient lives at stake in the process.

You will find various healthcare organizations ranging from diagnostic centers and pharmaceutical companies to mental health facilities and hospitals that were targets of such cyberattacks.

During the pandemic, the attacks on hospital data and information has not lessened. According to data provided by the CyberPeace Institute, it has been found that there have been more than 230 cyberattacks on the healthcare sector; these attacks do not include data breaches and have taken place all around the world in 33 countries.

Of course, this is just a small percentage of the total number of attacks that have taken place. It is important to understand that such behaviors are only increasing and proving to be a hindrance to accessing critical care.

What Are Some Of The Most Prominent Healthcare Data Breaches Of 2021?

According to the latest federal government report of 2021, it has been estimated that more than 40 million patients from all parts of the world have fallen prey to cyberattacks in this year alone.

Of course, the US FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) has been issuing warnings about such hacking groups and has managed to make ransomware-related arrests, according to the Department of Justice. However, cybercrime has become so common today that there is always an expectation of a possible cyberattack, and the likelihood of one occurring only increases over time.

As mentioned previously, the pandemic has proven to be quite difficult, particularly for the healthcare sector. Many incidents have taken place, resulting in networks and servers being down for weeks, resulting in many disruptions for America’s overall healthcare sector.

Additionally, there have been cases where certain hospitals faced legal and logistical problems as soon as they had restored access to the network. Overall, the federal government states that the records of more than 40 million individuals have been affected by these exposures to date.

The following are some of the most prominent data breaches that have occurred in 2021 and that have been reported to the US Department of Health and Human Services:

The List

Organization: Florida Healthy Kids Corporation

Number Of Affected Individuals: 3.5 million

Story Behind The Breach: Analysis has shown some notable vulnerabilities in the health organization’s website since 2013. This exposed information that included financial information, names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and more.

Organization: Forefront Dermatology

Number Of Affected Individuals: 2.4 million

Story Behind The Breach: Located in 21 states in the US, this Wisconsin-based health organization has reported an attempt of hacking that led to unauthorized access to employee and patient information.

Organization: Eskenazi Health

Number Of Affected Individuals: 1.5 million

Story Behind The Breach: Cybercriminals attempted and managed to gain access to the network of the Indiana-based health organization. Some data was released on the dark web because the organization refused to make the ransom payment on time.

Organization: The Kroger Co.

Number Of Affected Individuals: 1.4 million

Story Behind The Breach: A data breach in the networks of the Midwest grocery chain, which also affected Accellion, a file-sharing brand. Pharmacy customer records were potentially at risk of being exposed.

Organization: American Anesthesiology, Inc.

Number Of Affected Individuals: 1.3 million

Story Behind The Breach: A phishing attack resulted in access to the email system of MEDNAX, a business associate of the company. These emails contained personal information about the company’s clients; thankfully, the hackers were more focused on the employees’ payroll information.

Protect Against Future Attacks

Overall, it has been estimated that there were more than 10 million online frauds and hacking attempts that have taken place in just 2021 alone. Most of these hacks focused on private information of patients and employees, including financial information, medical records, social security numbers, and more.

Now, more than ever, it’s important to safeguard your organization’s data against potential leaks and breaches to protect both patient and personnel data.