Cybercriminals will always focus a lot of their efforts on stealing healthcare records due to the high return they can make from getting hold of information on addresses, social security financial data. A hackers can make these available for a high price on darknet markets or use them to commit identity theft.

So far in 2021, millions of records holding the valuable private information have been illegally obtained by cybercriminals using phishing tactics. Once a breach is discovered by the healthcare organization it has a legal responsibility to contact impacted patients to make them aware of it, as per the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a web portal which allows the reporting of HIPAA breach incidents can be reported. This portal can also be accessed by the public where they can see the details of confirmed HIPAA breaches.

Phishing campaigns can be targeted at individuals with high-privilege attacks, or they could be randomized where millions of users receive the same email. Untargeted attacks focus on quantity over quality. The attacker hopes that just a small percentage of people will fall for the phishing message. With just a small percentage of victims, an attacker can still generate thousands in revenue from a single campaign.

Spear-phishing campaigns are much more targeted and effective. Fewer email messages are sent to targeted users, but the campaign can be much more potent. With a high-privileged account or successful ransomware installation, an attacker could make millions from their efforts. Ransomware targeting businesses asks for thousands in return for private keys to decrypt data, or an attacker could use stolen credentials to exfiltrate data from corporate servers.

Both types of phishing campaigns are damaging to corporate reputation and patient data privacy, which is why healthcare providers and other organizations should take several steps to protect users from being phishing targets. Users don’t have the training necessary to identify phishing campaigns, but even IT administrators fall victim to these attacks. The best way to protect users is to stop malicious messages from reaching targeted recipient inboxes. This can be done using email filters.

The best way to prevent phishing attacks on your email servers is to configure a robust and constantly update cybersecurity solution. Email filters using artificial intelligence (AI) are the best way to discover dangerous emails. They can be quarantined prior to landing in the intended recipient’s inbox. The quarantined emails can still be monitored by system administrators for review and, should they find that a message has been incorrectly quarantined, they can forward the emails to the intended recipients.

Additionally, attachments and files are often leveraged to fool email recipients into downloading ransomware on the network. This tactic is typically used to deploy ransomware, another dangerous attack style that targets data privacy and integrity. Threat actors often use it to target on healthcare providers knowing that it can bring business workflows and productivity to a stand still. Cybersecurity systems can track and review attachments to see if they hold macros used to install ransomware and place it on corporate systems.

Your organization should be aiming to put in place a multi-layer cybersecurity to safeguard its databases. If you do not have

Without a layered cybersecurity approach, healthcare providers could become part of the next large data breach.  Implementing a strong email filter and the correct type of web content filters will allow your organization to mitigate the dangers posed by human mistakes. Email filters will spot malicious emails, quarantine them, and allow administrators to double check messages.