Hospital patients suffer regarding recent cyberattacks

A new global survey has revealed that hospital patients are getting worse and that there is a delay in future patients being seen after Friday’s ransomware attack, which crippled hospitals across the United Kingdom and affected 200,000 computer systems in 150 countries.

According to the global research company Ipsos, 11% of internet users know someone who has been affected by ransomware software since last week’s attack, with 6% personally being affected by the malicious programmes.

“It is simply unacceptable that people do not get the care they need because of cybercriminals attacking hospitals. We have a shared responsibility to collaboratively get this under control,” said Kathy Brown, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Internet Society.

“Law enforcement, IT professionals, consumers, business, and the public sector all have responsibility to act to keep enabling the good that the internet brings.”

Ransomware attackers enrich themselves

In hope to retrieve data after a hack, the survey shows that 24% of consumers would contact law enforcement, 15% would contact their internet service provider and 9% would contact a private firm. Despite this, it’s very unlikely that authorities are able to help cyberattack issues, as they are extremely difficult to recover, unless files are restored from a backup or a ransom is paid.

“Cyber thieves now operate on a global scale, as the most recent attack illustrates that anybody can launch a ransomware attack,” commented Fen Osler Hampson, Director of Global Security at CIGI.

“Ransomware attackers have discovered that they don’t have to steal or destroy your data to enrich themselves, they just have to hold it hostage. Our survey data shows that many people are willing to pay to get their data back, which makes such attacks highly profitable,” added Hampson.

Cybersecurity frameworks

People are extremely unprepared for the new forms of cyberattacks – only 16% indicated that they would be able to retrieve their data from backup software, and 24% of people admitted they wouldn’t know what to do if their computer was hit.

“The evolution of cybercrime has a negative impact on the willingness among people and enterprises to use the internet for ecommerce and other productive activities,” said Torbjörn Fredriksson, Chief of ICT Analysis Section at the UN Conference on Trade and Development.

“This underlines the importance of legal and regulatory responses that include criminalising conduct, enhancing law enforcement powers and putting in place cybersecurity frameworks that include prevention and permit active defence.”

The majority of cyberattack victims are from China, Indonesia, India and the United States.

Written from press release by Leah Alger