The COVID-19 outbreak has had a spillover effect on the cybersecurity resilience of healthcare organizations.
Many Canadians have been forced to work from home, drawing them away from the protective umbrella (e.g. infrastructure, firewalls, policies etc.) of their institutions and into more lightly secured domains. The increase in remote work has also made healthcare organizations across Canada much more vulnerable to network penetration during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security warns that network penetration attempts (phishing, hacking, etc.) have increased, driven in-part by the response of bad actors to COVID-19. The Cyber Centre has assessed that sophisticated threat actors may attempt to steal the intellectual property of organizations engaged in research and development related to COVID-19, or sensitive data related to Canada’s response to COVID-19.
Cyber criminals may also take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by using the increased pressure facing Canadian health organizations as an opportunity to extract ransom payments or to hide other compromises.
While these cyberthreats are worrisome, the federal government has made several resources available, including:
- Cyber Threats to Canadian Health Organizations Involved in the National Response to COVID-19
- Awareness and Recommended Mitigation Measures
- How to prevent and recover from Ransomware
- Cyber Hygiene for COVID-19 (Phishing and Malware Scams)
- Critical Vulnerabilities
- SANS Security Awareness Work-from-Home Deployment Kit
HealthCareCAN continues to advocate with the federal government on all things related to the COVID-19 pandemic and your cybersecurity needs more broadly.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.