As COVID-19 wreaks havoc on the world, ransomware attacks are also rapidly rising, and they are having a terrifying impact on hospitals and other care facilities. The largest cyberattack in the history of US healthcare happened on Monday, September 29th. Universal Health Services, a for-profit corporation that runs 400 hospitals and clinics with 90,000 employees in 45 states, was attacked by hackers who infected its internal computer network with ransomware.

This cyberattack forced hospitals back into an analog mode, as they had to pivot from working online to maintaining records using good old fashioned pen and paper. Leaving the digital world left patient records inaccessible and limited the ability to provide care, resulting in longer wait times and adding additional stress on an already strained healthcare system. This is not an isolated incident, as similar attacks in Europe have put other patients’ lives in danger. Another serious incident  happened in German hospital, where they suffered a similar cyberattack that cost a patient her life.

Hackers count on human mistakes

No matter how much money a business invests in cybersecurity, any network can be compromised by a single human error. Recent data shows human mistakes caused 27% of data breaches in the US this year alone. If you want to make a serious difference in your cybersecurity make employees aware of potential risks and give them guidelines to maintain best cybersecurity practices.

4 common human errors that cause breaches

#1 Lack of cybersecurity knowledge

Employees who don’t know about cybersecurity are more likely to open infected files, click on phishing links, and rely on public Wi-Fi. They are vulnerable and so is your network.

#2 Choosing weak passwords

Does your business have a password management policy in place? If not, employees may unknowingly put the business at risk. Poor password management habits include using weak passwords, default credentials or storing passwords on non-encrypted forms.

#3 Handling sensitive data carelessly

All employees are human and make mistakes. Such as accidentally deleting sensitive files, sending emails to wrong addresses, and not encrypting sensitive data. Any lack of awareness about potential security threats can have dire consequences at the workplace.

#4 Using ancient software

Old software is a hacker’s best friend. When you use software downloaded from unauthorized sources you often get malware and viruses. Outdated programs also lack security features, so stay away from programs offered by suspicious websites and sources.

It’s 2020, be vigilant

Ransomware specialists are masters of crafting interesting emails that get people to click. And once you click, it’s chaos. That’s why companies must be vigilant with cybersecurity and educate employees. What exactly happens when an employee “clicks” on an email attachment? The unleashed ransomware payload searches for weak spots, locks up programs and demands money for the keys to unlock it. Once the networks go down, electronic health records become unusable, and this can have tragic effects on patients and families.

Remember when your mother told you to never speak to strangers? Well in 2020, hackers are strangers and they are sending you fun stuff to click on. Don’t! A human mistake isn’t just a mistake anymore, it can lead to catastrophic consequences.

Got questions? Irdeto offers modular cybersecurity solutions and services to smaller startups to help them scale up their cybersecurity capabilitiesCall us to see what we can do for your business.

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