One of the most important cornerstones of modern civilisation are our healthcare services which extend our lives and improve our health in ways that would have never been possible decades ago. Unfortunately, our healthcare systems also remain one of the most vulnerable to cybercriminals as cybersecurity provider Trend Micro shared a bit about the threat landscape for the healthcare industry in general and in Malaysia.

According to experts in Trend Micro, most healthcare networks are underprepared for cybersecurity threats which can compromise or even knock out crucial healthcare systems that need to stay operational With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, cybersecurity experts have noted an increase in threats related to the term to the point that The Red Cross along with healthcare, technology and cybersecurity experts have come together to reaffirm international laws that prohibit cyberattacks on these systems.

To date, COVID-19 is being used in a variety of cyberattack vectors from phishing, malware, spam emails, ransomware and more with a 220x increase in COVID-related spam from February to March 2020 across the world and a 260% increase in malicious COVID-related URLs in the same time period.

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While it seems innocuous, cybercriminals can wreck havoc with vulnerable medical systems by stealing sensitive patient data, moving laterally to gain access to other more critical parts of a compromised network or even infect hospitals with ransomware or malware with catastrophic consequences.

In 2020 alone, Trend Micro has detected 72,806 devices in the healthcare industry that were vulnerable to cyberattacks globally. Of these devices, 2,920 of them had expired SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates while 2,861 had exposed DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) systems which left critical and private medical images exposed.

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Trend Micro – Threat Landscape for Malaysia’s Healthcare Industry

In Malaysia, 1.3 million medical and non-medical devices in Malaysia have been exposed and of them, at least 450 of them are medical devices according to Trend Micro. Further, they’ve noted that cybercriminals are targeting certain key areas in the region:

 

  • Kuala Lumpur
  •  Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
  •  Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang
  •  Kota Bahru, Kelantan
  •  Putrajaya
  •  Malacca
  •  Seremban
  •  Petaling Jaya, Selangor
  •  Seri Iskandar, Perak
  •  Puchong, Selangor

According to Trend Micro, organisations, including healthcare players need to have a comprehensive multi-layered, in-depth approach to thwart and mitigate cybersecurity threats and attacks which is where offerings such as their Trend Micro XDR and Trend Micro Cloud One solution come into the picture along with their SaaS-based Security Awareness Services and Cybersecurity Assessment Services. For more details check out Trend Micro’s official page at https://www.trendmicro.com/vinfo/us/security/news/healthcare

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