"Healthcare is getting hammered,” says Thomas Norman, technology consultant, Ingram Micro. Ransomware is a fast-growing, highly profitable business, and it’s an epidemic in healthcare. Eighty-eight percent of all ransomware detected in the second quarter of 2016 was in the healthcare industry, according to Healthcare Informatics.
Criminals have embraced the principles of rapid innovation too. In the first half of this year, threat actors developed some 80 new families of ransomware—a 172 percent increase over all of last year, according to Trend Micro. And with ransomware as a service, it’s data kidnapping for hire.
A Crime That Pays
“Criminals are making piles of money,” says Norman. “Depending on the configuration of the IT system, ransomware is capable of taking everything down in a hospital, including medical devices and communications. It puts critical-care units into jeopardy. They will pay and pay fast.”