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There was a 90% increase in the number of health care organizations targeted by cybercriminal groups during the second quarter, according to a report released Wednesday.
“Ransomware helped to fuel this uptick against health care as attacks increased this quarter to once again become the top threat, followed closely by email compromises,” according to the report issued by Kroll LLC.
The report said while criminals continued to explore vulnerabilities and phishing schemes to launch ransomware, in the second quarter it was most likely to begin via external remote services.
Kroll reported a 700% increase in the use of such services, which include remote desktop protocol and virtual private networks, to gain initial access in the quarter.
The report said health care overtook professional services as the top targeted sector, accounting for 21% of Kroll’s cases, compared with only 11% in the first quarter.
The report recommends that all organizations, but particularly those in health care, test their eternal remote services’ resilience and preparedness for ransomware.
In the first quarter, Kroll found that phishing attacks deployed for initial access into companies’ computer systems increased by more than half compared with last year’s fourth quarter.