Email Security Blog

The Hacking of the Healthcare Market

The healthcare market collects and stores enormous amounts of personal information – including all of the data you’d need for identity theft and credit card fraud, as well as banking credentials, confidential (and often very personal) medical information, and more. And when cybercriminals target a healthcare operation, a single email phishing attack can introduce malware and often leads to a ransomware attack.

One reason the healthcare market is so inviting to hackers is because it is one of the largest and fastest growing in the world. To put that into perspective, consider the following:1

The global health industry was worth $8.45 trillion in 2018…and that was before the pandemic.

The U.S. healthcare market consists of 784,626 companies

Global healthcare spending could reach over $10 trillion by 2022.

28% of China’s population uses connected health devices, the highest in the world.

The U.S. has the greatest healthcare spending, sitting at $10,224 per person.

There are 784,626 companies in the U.S. healthcare sector.

1 in 8 U.S. citizens is employed in the healthcare industry.

Now that we’ve painted that picture, you’ll understand the gravity of the fact the healthcare is the second most targeted industry for hackers, second only to social security numbers.2 In 2018, the healthcare market experienced 503 breaches which compromised 15 million patient records.3

Of course, there is the pandemic. As you can imagine, COVID-19 brought on an onslaught of new opportunities for healthcare companies to collect data from people worldwide. Real-time COVID-19 trackers are continuously pulling data from around the world and healthcare agencies are trying to collect data to help with vaccines, contact tracing, and more. In fact, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently announced its “All of Us” research program which invited 1 million people across the U.S. to help build what will become the most diverse health database in history. The information gathered can aid in the development of new cures and better treatments. We’ll better understand how biology, lifestyle, and environments effect our well-being. On so many levels it’s a grand plan. Except, perhaps, when it comes to cybercrime and data vulnerability.

Studies have also shown that consumers and businesses are planning to contribute and invest even more in healthcare data. One survey found that1

47% of companies are expected to increase their use of connected health devices.

74% of patients believe sharing more lifestyle data will help doctors treat them more effectively.

55% of patients would share their information digitally if it reduced costs.

50% of patients would be comfortable with contacting their doctors digitally.

To make matters worse, as of 2019, the majority of healthcare organizations were still using outdated Windows 7 operating systems.5 All of this puts the healthcare market in a precarious position because hackers are regularly targeting healthcare companies to steal personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI). When they have these records, cybercriminals use it for a number of illegal operations, including financial fraud, medical identity theft, identify theft, and for impersonating others in convincing phishing email messages. For these reasons, medical data fetches a nice price on the dark web where it is regularly bought and sold.

The severity of email phishing threats within the healthcare market is not something that can be fixed with a need a cure. As a healthcare provider, your role is much to vital – especially in the face of a pandemic – to be brought down by cybercriminals. By partnering with INKY, you can stop worrying about what lurks behind your inboxes, and get back to keep the rest of us safe and healthy. Few companies can offer the level of protection you need to prevent even the most sophisticated cybercriminals from infecting your healthcare business with malware and ransomware. INKY is the industry’s leading phishing prevention solution. Cloud-based and installable on any type of email platform, INKY recognized phishing threats that the human eyes can’t even detect. It will work at your location and on your mobile devices. Learn more about INKY or schedule a free demonstration today.


INKY® is the emerging hero in the war against phishing. An award-winning cloud-based email security solution, INKY® prevents the most complex phishing threats from disrupting or even immobilizing your company’s day-to-day business operations. Using computer vision, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, INKY® is the smartest investment you can make in the security of your organization. INKY® is a proud winner of the NYCx Cybersecurity Moonshot Challenge and finalist in the 2020 RSAC Innovation Sandbox Competition. Learn more about INKY® or request an online demonstration today.