There was a 90% increase in the number of healthcare organizations targeted by cybercriminal groups in the second quarter, according to a report released on Wednesday.
“Ransomware helped fuel this rise against healthcare as attacks increased this quarter to once again become the top threat, closely followed by email compromise,” according to the report issued by Kroll LLC, an affiliate of Duff & Phelps LLC.
The report said that while criminals continued to explore vulnerabilities and phishing schemes to launch ransomware, it was most likely to start via external remote services in the second quarter.
Kroll reported a 700% increase in the use of such services, which include remote desktop protocols and virtual private networks, to gain initial access during the quarter.
The report said healthcare overtook professional services as the top targeted sector, accounting for 21% of Kroll’s cases, compared to just 11% in the first quarter.
The report recommends that all organizations, but especially those in healthcare, test their perpetual remote services’ resilience and readiness for ransomware.
In the first quarter, Kroll found that phishing attacks implemented for initial access to corporate computer systems increased by more than half compared to the fourth quarter of last year.