Cyberattacks on healthcare continue to plague the sector 

CyberPeace Institute

GENEVA, Switzerland 7 April 2022 – On the occasion of World Health Day it is important to recognize the important role of healthcare for all our lives, and the essential work of the many healthcare professionals who endeavor to keep us safe, healthy and alive.  

“Cynically, it is because of the importance of healthcare in our lives and its vulnerability that the frequency and volume of cyberattacks against the healthcare sector have increased in recent years”, according to Klara Jordan, Chief Public Policy Officer at the CyberPeace Institute.  

As a result of the documentation of disruptive cyberattacks against the Healthcare Sector in the CyberPeace Institute’s Cyber Incident Tracer (CIT) #Health, it has been possible to detect a number of trends and emerging issues for the first two months of 2022. 

Healthcare organizations have been targeted in at least 14 countries across North and South America, Asia, Europe and Oceania.  However, in January and February 2022, we saw a shift in the geographical representation of targeted organizations compared to 2021.   

Healthcare organizations in the United States of America made up 22% fewer of the total organizations targeted compared to 2021.  European organizations on the other hand saw a 22% increase, with organizations in nine (9) different European countries targeted in this period compared to six (6) different countries in the same period in 2021. 

The CyberPeace Institute has also documented the emergence of new ransomware strains targeting healthcare organizations in 2022, although Conti and Pysa ransomware operators continue to pose a threat to the healthcare sector in 2022.

The healthcare sector needs cyberpeace which is a critical enabler of the sector’s ability to provide care.  The healthcare sector must be free of any threat from cyberattack and needs increased action, spanning diplomatic and resilience initiatives, to ensure that actors who threaten or attack it are held to account.  Cyberattacks against healthcare are attacks on people and the attention and protection must be commensurate with its critical mission.  

The CyberPeace Institute calls for all efforts to be made to stop cyberattacks against the healthcare sector.

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