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The 2020 surge in ransomware healthcare attacks has highlighted how healthcare organisations have become more vulnerable to cyberattacks during the coronavirus pandemic. While many of us have turned to remote working over the past year, ransomware has long been a remote access tool for cybercriminals, allowing them to breach systems and take control of computer servers and machines from anywhere in the world.
In the UK, we constantly hear that our health service is constrained by limited resources, but few stop to consider the impact that this has on data privacy. Faced with outdated hardware and cybersecurity software in some cases, healthcare organisations could have poor defences against cyberattacks. They can, therefore, be risking the exposure of patient and employee data on a daily basis.
Every UK citizen has a right to have their personal information kept safe and secure by third-party organisations. This could mean that you may be entitled to claim compensation in the event that your data has been exposed. For free, no-obligation advice, contact us today to talk to a member of our specialist data breach team.
Ransomware usually describes a type of cyberattack where hackers take over control of a computer system or a network, demanding that the host organisation pay a ransom in return for the reinstatement of control. In 2020, healthcare organisations were incredibly vulnerable to these attacks. Some statistics indicated that the threat increased by almost half in the first weeks of 2020, which was greater than a number of other sectors.
The increase in ransomware healthcare attacks in 2020 was not just driven by the strain healthcare organisations fell under as a result of Covid-19, as ransomware has been on a general upward trend. This could be because of the use of ransomware-as-a-service tools, named for the transaction involved between the hackers and programmers. Hackers can be given the attack code for the ransomware, for which they agree to give the programmers a share of any profits made.
As tools become more sophisticated and cybercriminals collaborate to execute attacks, it seems that the threat of ransomware healthcare attacks may worsen if action is not taken.
As mentioned above, healthcare organisations do not always deploy enough preventative measures, meaning that they can be more vulnerable to cyberattacks.
For example, in 2017, the colossal WannaCry ransomware attack hit the NHS, and was the largest cyberattack ever seen in the history of the health service. It later emerged that the breach could have been prevented if cybersecurity recommendations had been followed.
Ransomware healthcare attacks now represent a dangerous global problem, so it is essential that health services take all the steps required to prevent them from happening.
Any healthcare data breach can be extremely harmful for its victims because of the sensitivity of medical information that can be exposed. We have brought many claims against healthcare organisations over the years, aiming to recover compensation for the distress and financial impact our clients have suffered as a result of data breaches.
Medical data breaches can affect hundreds or even thousands of victims, so in some cases, we have started a class action to collate all the claims into one manageable action.
With experience in data privacy matters dating back to 2014, Your Lawyers – The Data Leak Lawyers – as leading data claims lawyers, has the skills and expertise needed to bring our clients’ claims to fruition. For eligible claimants, we are even able to offer No Win, No Fee representation.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for free, no-obligation advice on your potential claim.
The content of this post/page was considered accurate at the time of the original posting and/or at the time of any posted revision. The content of this page may, therefore, be out of date. The information contained within this page does not constitute legal advice. Any reliance you place on the information contained within this page is done so at your own risk.
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