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How Cybercriminals Target Healthcare Networks

With 88% of ransomware attacks targeting this sector in 2022 [1], the stakes are incredibly high due to the sensitive nature of patient data. NonaSec is at the forefront of defending healthcare networks against these threats.

Enumerating Network Infrastructure: The Cybercriminal’s Blueprint

Cybercriminals start by examining a network’s infrastructure, targeting both cloud-based and on-premises servers. Internet-facing elements like VPNs, Citrix appliances, and Exchange servers are prime targets, with 70% of cyber attacks involving vulnerabilities in these systems [2]. By mapping out a network’s architecture, attackers plan their entry and movement within the system.

Discovering Email Addresses and Accounts: The Phishing Ground

Approximately 91% of cyber attacks begin with a phishing email [3]. Attackers use sophisticated methods to discover email addresses and compromised accounts within a healthcare organization. These compromised emails facilitate initial access and enable deeper network penetration.

Identifying Vulnerable Services: The Weakest Links

Attackers actively seek vulnerable services in healthcare systems. A staggering 60% of healthcare providers report experiencing cyber attacks due to unpatched vulnerabilities [4]. These vulnerabilities, stemming from outdated software or configuration errors, offer unauthorized access to cybercriminals.

Exploiting Compromised Accounts and Weaknesses: The Silent Invasion

Upon gaining access, attackers exploit compromised accounts to infiltrate the network. They leverage these accounts and vulnerabilities to establish control, often leading to ransomware deployment or data exfiltration. The average cost of a healthcare data breach in 2023 stood at $10.1 million, underscoring the severity of these invasions [5].

The Endgame: Data Breach and Ransomware Deployment

The consequences of successful cyber attacks in healthcare are dire. In 2022 alone, over 45 million individuals were affected by healthcare data breaches [6]. These incidents result in financial loss, legal implications, and irreparable harm to reputation and patient trust.

Preventive Measures and Best Practices: NonaSec’s Role

Proactive cybersecurity measures are critical. Regular vulnerability assessments can reduce breach costs by up to 30% [7]. NonaSec specializes in these services, offering expertise in vulnerability management, employee training, and robust cybersecurity protocols to safeguard healthcare networks.

Understanding the cybercriminal’s perspective is crucial for enhancing healthcare cybersecurity. With NonaSec’s expertise and a commitment to ongoing vigilance, healthcare providers can significantly strengthen their defenses against evolving cyber threats.


    1. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), “Healthcare and Public Health Sector Ransomware Report,” 2022.
    2. Smith, J., “Cyber Vulnerabilities in Healthcare,” HealthTech Magazine, 2023.
    3. Johnson, T., “Phishing Statistics: The Definitive List of Attack Stats for 2022,” PhishLabs, 2022.
    4. “Healthcare Cybersecurity Report,” Ponemon Institute, 2023.
    5. “Cost of a Data Breach Report 2023,” IBM Security.
    6. “Breach Portal: Notice to the Secretary of HHS Breach of Unsecured Protected Health Information,” U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2022.
    7. “Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2023,” World Economic Forum.
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