The Covid-19 pandemic offers a variety of new techniques for bad actors to exploit vulnerabilities in the digital ecosystem, according to a report from risk protection services vendor Constella Intelligence. Although the healthcare sector did not account for a large fraction of the investigated data breaches, the overall volume of records exposed increased by 51% from 2019 to 2021, according to the 2021 Identity Breach Report.
Constella evaluated a large percentage of the more than 8,500 breaches and leakages it discovered in underground marketplaces in 2020 for the report. Constella Intelligence CEO Kailash Ambwani said in a statement, “The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us the fragility of our online infrastructure. As people continue to rely on digital solutions and [work] from home, both companies and individuals must take new precautions to protect themselves from potential threat actors.”
Only 3% of the breaches found by Constella were in the healthcare sector, yet the rate of leakage had jumped by 51% from the previous year. Of course, ransomware was a recurring topic in the report, with payments to attackers increasing 337 percent from 2019 to 2020. Even when ransom is paid, it appears that ransomware gangs are becoming more aggressive and are less inclined to restore systems. The cyber assessment followed a fresh security warning from Armis, which discovered weaknesses in vital infrastructure utilised by 80% of major North American hospitals: pneumatic tube systems.