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NHS cyber attack underscores ongoing ransomware threat to healthcare sector | #ransomware | #cybercrime


Paul Gooch, Head of Large Account Cyber at Tokio Marine Kiln, has advised companies to adopt the mindset ‘not if, but when’ in their approach to cybersecurity, following the attack on hospitals in London targeting NHS IT firm Synnovis.

Reinsurance News understands that the attacks have affected the Royal Brompton, Harefield, Guy’s, St Thomas’ & King’s College Hospitals, which were forced to cancel many operations.

“Unfortunately, this attack correlates with our claims statistics which show that ransomware attacks are once again on the rise and that the healthcare sector continues to be heavily targeted by ransomware crime groups,” Gooch observed.

He also stated that threat actors have added leverage when looking to extort healthcare organisations, as they often hold sensitive patient data that criminals threaten to ‘leak’ unless extortion payments are made.

“The operational impact of a computer system outage in the healthcare sector is incredibly high – as we have seen with this most recent attack on Synnovis, the NHS trusts impacted have declared it to be a ‘critical incident’ due to the impact on test results and medical procedures,” Gooch explained.

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He added that the extent and duration of the impact of this attack is yet to be seen, but will likely be determined by what type of data has been compromised, as well as the back-up and restoration procedures Synnovis have in place.

Gooch continued, “Sadly, the somewhat cliché phrase that it’s “not if, but when” an organisation will fall victim to a cyber-attack is one which we would advise companies to incorporate into their approach to cyber security, and so a focus on recovery is just as important as efforts made to prevent the attack in the first place.”

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