In the current global pandemic, every healthcare organization and hospital is using the Internet of Things (IoT) to operate effectively and facilitate telemedicine to the people. This need to connect to each other in the time of crisis has opened up new gateways for cybercriminals or hackers to access the huge medical system through connected points or networks that give them heaps of medical information to sell on the black market. Cyberattacks against the healthcare sector are nothing new – patient records include some of the most detailed person profiles possible, and hence are one of the most enticing documents for scammers attempting to commit fraud, identity theft, or credit card scams. However, as the global healthcare industry is struggling badly to handle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, cybercriminals are targeting healthcare organizations as they are the most vulnerable during these times. 

There has been a sharp increase in the number of cyberattacks to healthcare organizations since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, particularly the systems of the countries that are at the frontline of dealing with the coronavirus cases, including hospitals, research organizations, pharmaceutical companies, and laboratories. This is because of the terms of cybersecurity, the healthcare sector lags far behind others, with a lack of digital literacy among workers, inadequate regulations and enforcements, and obsolete technologies making it an easy target. 

Although knocking the internal communication network of a hospital offline is dangerous enough, the danger is much more serious when it comes to messing with devices such as ventilators or robotic surgical equipment. Imagine seizing or shutting down a large health center, or a cluster of hospitals across a city or state or even a country due to cyberattack while the country is battling with many coronavirus cases. In today’s time when a single doctor and a hospital bed is a valuable asset to the country, we cannot afford for the system to get compromised.   

Cybercriminals are targeting healthcare organizations that work on the peak level to provide healthcare and information to people all around the world. Organizations such as the US Department of Health and Human Services and The World Health Organization are facing double the number of cyberattacks against its systems. The United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) and the United States Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) have now issued an urgent warning following a series of cyberattacks launched by rival states against health organizations fighting Covid-19.