Recently it was reported that a vulnerability in the Accellion file transfer software led to data breaches and ransomware attacks among Universities from California to Maryland. The attacks didn’t stop there, in the past few days, several providers in the healthcare industry have been added to the Department of Health and Human Service’s HIPAA Breach Reporting Tool in association with this vulnerability. 

According to the HIPAA Breach Tool, Trinity Health had over 585,000 records compromised. In larger breaches like this, they can cost upwards of $3.86 million USD in damages and profits for these attackers. 

Attacks targeting service providers are becoming a more common way to gain access to sensitive health data such as patient records and insurance information to sell on the dark web. In addition, threat actors are becoming more coercive in their ransomware techniques to ensure payment in a ransomware attack. Double extortion techniques are being leveraged by threatening to post data online to prove they have access to an organization’s systems or reach out to patients directly to expose the breach. 

A unique observation in these breaches is that Accellion specializes in transferring data across platforms, therefore, data privacy and security are major concerns. For organizations that rely on service providers, it is paramount to perform a vendor risk assessment and have an incident response plan available in the event of a data breach. An organization’s cyber risk significantly increases as they open their network to third parties, which highlights the importance of having 24/7 monitoring to detect and identify threats across endpoints, the network, cloud, and logs to ensure threats are detected. As the healthcare sector continues to be a prime target for threat actors, encrypting personal data is another important practice to protect data in the event that it is intercepted by an attacker. 

Learn more about 24/7 monitoring services like Managed Detection and Response (MDR) in our CIO webinar: Making the Case for Managed Detection and Response 

Monique Becenti

Product Marketing Manager | Pondurance

Monique is a Product Marketing Manager and has worked in cyber security roles for more than 5 years. Prior to joining Pondurance, Monique worked with Truyo powered by Intel®, specializing in data privacy rights automation and consent management and was a product and channel marketing specialist at SiteLock. Monique has a passion for cyber security and leveraging her knowledge to create better experiences for consumers and businesses throughout their customer journey. Outside of cyber security, Monique loves photography and taking pictures of the beautiful Arizona sunsets and landscape.