On account of the growing number of cyber attacks on the healthcare sector, the global healthcare cyber security industry is expected to reach $4 billion in value by 2027. This information alone speaks to the sheer number of attacks on hospitals and clinics.

Here’s the scary part: Attacks on the healthcare sector can put hackers in complete control. In sophisticated attacks, hackers may be able to control whether or not people emerge from a hospital or clinic in full health or in a body bag.

Across 2020, security experts saw a nearly 40% increase in cyber attacks that targeted the healthcare sector. A key issue is the problem of “volume and attention”, referring to the number of attacks in the context of a relentless and perturbing pandemic.

As 2020 drew to a close, Canada ranked highest in terms of nations experiencing cyber attacks directed towards the healthcare system. The country witnessed a 250% increase in attacks. In response, cyber security experts encourage the country to reevaluate security measures.

Why has healthcare seen cyber attacks spike?


  1. Healthcare groups are pre-occupied with the crush of coronavirus cases. For hospital executives, cyber security may look like a sideshow. It may not be considered an area worthy of full attention.
  2. Popup coronavirus facilities rely on medical technologies that are internet-connected. In the process of constructing, staffing and equipping such facilities, cyber security often takes a back seat. Organizations are focused on patient care rather than a cyber pandemic.
  3. Healthcare groups commonly use legacy technologies. Many pieces of fragile digital infrastructure cannot be patched. In other instances, patching may require shutting down entire systems, which doesn’t necessarily feel feasible.

As many as 88% of US-based medtech leaders believe that their organization remains unprepared for a cyber attack. Both organizations that sell healthcare products and that provide healthcare services must follow risk-informed cyber security policies and best practices. These organizations should consider adopting end-to-end security that comes with complete lifecycle protection.

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