Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Evolving Ransomware Attacks on Healthcare Providers
by Al Qartah, Ayed, M.S., Utica College, 2020, 70; 28093945
Abstract (Summary)

Healthcare is among the industries most vulnerable to cyberattacks. As it continues to evolve rapidly and shifting to digitally enabled healthcare services, cybercriminals seek to exploit the vulnerabilities and security weaknesses that are coupled with these changes. As a result of the technological advancements, the healthcare industry is facing a myriad of highly sophisticated threats such as ransomware. The purpose of this research was to identify the evolving ransomware attacks on healthcare providers, their implications, and recommended methods to mitigate future attacks in such a critical industry. The research involved the use of various sources, including security reports from leading cybersecurity companies, research laboratories, scholarly articles, technical whitepapers, and professional journals. The research found healthcare providers are a prime target for ransomware for multiple reasons, including the rapidly expanding attack surface, lack of adequate cyber defenses, exploiting the human factor, and the heightened sense of urgency to restore confidential patient data or medical systems. The research found that ransomware breaches can have serious consequences such as reputation damage, disruption of medical care, undermining of patient safety, data privacy loss, and financial costs. This research examined some notable ransomware attacks in the healthcare industry since 2016 such as Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center and Virtual Care Provider Incorporated. The research identified the most common infection methods, the different categories of ransomware, and the lifecycle of ransomware infection. The research recommended that healthcare providers should implement multiple layers of cyber defenses and social engineering awareness program to mitigate ransomware attacks.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pantani, Paul
Commitee:
School: Utica College
Department: Cybersecurity
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: MAI 82/3(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Information Technology, Computer science, Health care management
Keywords: Cybersecurity, Healthcare, Malware, Mitigation, Ransomware, Social engineering
Publication Number: 28093945
ISBN: 9798664795974
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