How cybercriminals' techniques have evolved: 5 things for hospitals to know

Although cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated, their access to tens of billions of corporate and personal records and hundreds of software flaws have made it easy to infect organizations, according to the IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2020, which was released Feb. 11.

For the report, IBM analyzed 70 billion security events per day in more than 130 counties. Additionally, IBM used data from X-Force IRIS, X-Force Red, IBM Managed Security Services and other information on publicly disclosed data breaches.

Here are five things to know:

1. To gain access to a hospital or organization's network, many cybercriminals turn to phishing attacks. These attacks were successful as an initial infection in around 30 percent of the security breaches in 2019.

2. Hackers also attempted to scan and exploit vulnerabilities in 30 percent of the observed incidents. The report cited various vulnerabilities in older versions of Microsoft Office and Windows servers that hackers are exploiting.

3. Using previously stolen credentials is becoming a preferred method for hackers to gain access to an organization's network. In 29 percent of the data breaches, hackers used stolen credentials.

4. Although more hospitals are turning to cloud software, around 7 billion data breaches were due to misconfigured cloud servers and other improperly configured systems.

5. Hackers are also posing as technology, social medica and common household brands to spoof people and businesses in phishing attacks.

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