Health IT Security recently published the results of Akamai's latest State of the Internet report, emphasizing that "Distributed denial of services (DDoS) attacks are up during the third quarter of 2015, reinforcing the healthcare industry's growing concern for healthcare data security." They have hit on a very salient point here, because while many may think that healthcare providers are not likely targets of DDoS attacks, there are definite reasons why DDoS attacks should be of particular focus in the healthcare industry:
First, DDoS attacks are very easy to implement and can happen whenever a controversial issue arises. Hospitals can find themselves suddenly caring for a controversial patient or treating a condition that has political implications. This happened to a Boston hospital not long ago. There is no hospital immune to that kind of scenario - controversies spark up unexpectedly.
Second, DDoS attacks are not always used for purely malicious purposes. We are seeing more and more situations where DDoS attacks are done in tandem with web application attacks. Essentially, the DDoS attack is intended to distract the organization while the true attack - where patient data theft occurs - goes on simultaneously.
HIMSS recently conducting a survey of healthcare providers and learned that only 42% have any kind of DDoS protection in place. With patient data security a top priority in healthcare in 2016, DDoS protection needs to be part of the solution. Read more of the Health IT Security article here.
By Ginny Carpenter, Industry Marketing Manager, Healthcare at Akamai