Panda Security Releases Whitepaper "The Cyber Pandemic"

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PandaLabs most recent whitepaper details IT attacks against the healthcare sector

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PandaLabs, Panda Security‘s anti-malware laboratory, recently released a whitepaper about the “Cyber-pandemic” with some practical examples of real threats that affect us all.

Ransomware and Information Theft

The healthcare sector manages extremely sensitive data that is also highly valuable. This industry is very attractive to cyber criminals who know that they can charge high prices on the black market for this stolen information. The possible crimes committed with this data can lead to very extreme consequences, like extortion for example, and yet preventative measures are not being taken. According to IBM, the healthcare sector had the most IT security attacks in 2015, placing this industry at the top of their list.

According to the Ponemon Institute, if we add up the number of ransomware attacks presented in the document, information theft has increased by 125% over the last five years. Cyber-criminals have shut down hospitals by stealing thousands of records and then taking them hostage.

Technological advances have facilitated the digitalization of this information, which is something very beneficial for patients, but on the other hand, since the personal data is digitalized, it is also more accessible to cyber-criminals who see it as an easy and lucrative steal. This analysis by PandaLabs has demonstrated how these attacks have escalated from specific to large scale cases. An example of this is the attack on Anthem, the second largest insurance provider in the United States, who was a victim of this type of attack and lost 80 million client records that contained Social Security numbers and other highly sensitive data.

Medical Teams: In the Line of Fire

If we take into account all of the medical equipment that is connected to the network (dispensers, pacemakers, scanners, x-ray machines, perfusion pumps, hospital faculty computers, etc.), we can imagine how easy it is must be for a cyber-delinquent to gain access the corporate network, and then access to patient information. As seen in the study, there are currently more than 400,000 devices in the world that remain vulnerable.

How can we avoid these attacks?

It is important to take note: paying a ransom does not guarantee that stolen documents or information will be returned. The ransom payment did not secure that the victim got back their documents in any of these examples. It is better to avoid this altogether. Here are some of PandaLab’s recommendations on how you can avoid a cyber-pandemic:

-Depend on a cyber-security solution that has both advanced protection functionalities and is also able to detect and remedy possible threats.
-There is something in common in all of the systems that were targeted in the attacks: a lack of control. What would have helped prevent these attacks is a cyber-security solution that is capable of controlling all running processes, in every machine, connected to the network.

  • Revise staff policies and control systems in order to adjust the privacy requirements and adapt them to available technology.
  • Keep operating systems and company devices updated.

To help the Healthcare sector stay ahead, Adaptive Defense 360 offers comprehensive security to fight off attacks. Adaptive Defense 360 provides everything that your company may need to remedy known vulnerabilities.

To read "The Cyber Pandemic," please visit the Panda Security media center.

About Panda Security
Founded in 1990, Panda Security is the world's leading security solutions company based from the cloud. Headquartered in Spain, our company has direct presence in over 80 countries, products translated into more than 23 languages, and millions of customers around the world. Our mission is to simplify Internet security for our members and their digital lives by creating new and better solutions.
For more information, please visit

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Tim Hamilton
Panda Security
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