Many cybersecurity experts are now warning of a new ware called killware. Unlike ransomware and malware, which primarily aim to gain money and access to sensitive data, killware’s aim is to take lives. Authorities warn that these types of attacks could impact hospitals, transportation, law enforcement agencies, banks, and even the water supply. Hospitals specifically are of great concern to officials due to underreporting. As they increase their use of digital tools, they become more dependent on technology to deliver treatment and keep patients safe.
These types of attacks have already forced hospitals to cancel or defer procedures, including critical surgeries. This not only put lives at risk, but leaves hospitals vulnerable to HIPPA violation fines and liability lawsuits. Gartner estimates that the financial impact of cyber attacks resulting in fatalities will exceed $50 billion within the next few years.
Though authorities are now warning that killware will likely become more common and devastating in the near future, these types of attacks are not new. In fact, a recent and prominent example of this occurred earlier this year. Hackers were able to infiltrate a Florida water treatment facility and alter its chemical mixture to a dangerous level before operators noticed and quickly changed the levels back to normal.
One of the best ways to protect your organization from these types of attacks is to implement a strong security policy and train employees to know the warning signs of a cyberattack. To learn more or implement a strong security policy in your organization, contact us at email@example.com or via phone at (703) 790-0400.