Health Law Highlights

Researchers Observe Increase in Emerging Ransomware Groups Targeting Healthcare

From HealthIT Security, by Jill McKeon:

  • The healthcare sector experienced significant data breaches in 2023, with over 540 organizations reporting such incidents, largely due to ransomware attacks. Healthcare was the third-most targeted industry, following manufacturing and technology.
  • The GuidePoint Research and Intelligence Team (GRIT) identified 63 distinct ransomware groups responsible for these attacks, with established groups like LockBit, Alphv, and Clop causing the majority of breaches. These groups have operated for at least nine months and have well-defined tactics.
  • Both established and emerging ransomware groups have increasingly targeted healthcare organizations. Despite traditionally being considered ‘off-limits’ due to potential negative press and law enforcement attention, the number of attacks on healthcare organizations rose in 2023.
  • Emerging groups, defined as those in operation for less than three months, have been particularly problematic for the healthcare sector. One such group, Rhysidia, has been aggressive in its attacks despite its relative newness, using tactics like phishing to compromise victims.
  • GRIT predicts that ransomware attacks will continue to escalate in 2024, with the most prolific groups leading advancements in techniques and strategies. The report emphasizes the importance of industry best practices in threat intelligence, information sharing, and public-private partnerships to combat this growing threat.