Kaspersky's fifth cybersecurity weekend puts spotlight on still unseen attacks against medical and pharmaceutical organisations in APAC.
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Kaspersky tags escalating number of cyberthreats as the modern plague haunting the healthcare sector, at the recent 5th CyberSecurity Weekend in Yangon, Myanmar.
With the theme “Cybersecurity: Healing the Healthcare Sector”, the conference is set to examine the past, the present, and the future state of the medical industry’s threat landscape. The annual event will be attended by the Kaspersky’s elite researchers, key executives, as well as journalists from 12 Asia Pacific (APAC) countries.
“Data is sick. Confidential medical records being breached, advanced devices turning a human into a bionic man, these ideas have since crossed the bridge between fictional stories and our physical world. They are well within our reality, in Asia Pacific and globally. As rapid digitalisation penetrates the healthcare sector, cybercriminals are seeing more opportunities to attack this lucrative and critical industry, which is honestly not equipped enough to face this virtual danger,” says Stephan Neumeier, Managing Director for Asia Pacific at Kaspersky.
Attacks against hospitals and pharmaceuticals have been happening worldwide, especially in the more advanced countries in the west. The recent years, however, have seen the threat creeping towards APAC. Reports have even projected that the medical industry in the region can incur economic losses of up to USD 23.3 million from cybersecurity incidents.
The Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) revealed last year that out of the 262 data breaches reported under the Australian Notifiable Data Breach (NDB) scheme, 54 came from the private health sector followed by finance (40); legal, accounting and management services (23); private education providers (21) and mining and manufacturing (12).
Singapore, the highly-connected and considered as the technology and business hub of Asia, has suffered four data breaches concerning healthcare organisations in just 12 months. One incident even involved health records of the country’s prime minister. The infamous Wannacry ransomware has also crippled several medical establishments in the region, particularly in China, Hong Kong, and Vietnam.
Senior Security Researcher from GReAT Korea, Seongsu Park gave further insight to healthcare related data from the Darkweb. An example given in his presentation is an Australian based darkweb seller called Ausprdie. This platform is known to sell digital product in exchange for individuals medical data which includes phone numbers.
He also noted that medical records can be considered more valuable than a simple credit card. This is because a hospital generally requires a patient’s personal and financial credentials before a check-up or an admission.
“Based on the indications and patterns we have seen and are still seeing on the dark web, the main purpose of the individuals behind these hacking groups is to sell the medical information to another crime group or to any individual who aims to access confidential medical data. It is quite alarming that we are increasingly coming across such active advertisements, which can either mean this illegal practice has turned into a normal type of business or the demand for such attacks are becoming increasingly high,” adds Park.
Leading the team of researchers is Vitaly Kamluk, Head of GReAT APAC at Kaspersky, who zero-in on the readiness of the industry in tackling cyberthreats and its cybersecurity.
“Nuclear fallouts like the one happened after Chernobyl disaster and cyberthreats have something in common. A naked eye cannot see how the radiation from the decades-long incident have been affecting human health until present times. Likewise, the healthcare sector has yet to clearly diagnose the plague that has been causing damage to the industry and potentially affecting human health,” explains Kamluk. “Helen Keller once said that the only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision. While being deaf-blind person, she worked very hard and reached unbelievable heights. In cyberspace most of us are deaf-blind, because of invisible nature of the threats. But the question is are we working hard enough to be able to envision how those threats can affect our health and our lives?.”
Kaspersky is a global cybersecurity company founded in 1997. Kaspersky’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into innovative security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky technologies and we help 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at www.kaspersky.com.au