In the middle of a pandemic, the last thing any hospital wants to do is make life even more complicated for its staff and patients. But that’s exactly what happened in France last month, when two separate hospitals were hit with ransomware attacks, forcing them to shut off internet service. One was forced to postpone patient surgeries and redirect emergency room care and the other resorted to paper charts, record-keeping and appointment logs.

These sorts of attacks have been a growing problem for the health care industry and are increasing in frequency during the pandemic. In 2020, health care data breaches were up 25% in the U.S. over the previous year.

One of the biggest concerns is outside vendors who have access to critical data and systems to help keep their organizations running. While essential, this creates what is known as “third-party risk,” in which hospital or medical office data may be exposed if those supply chain vendors are attacked. Organizations need to constantly think about impact a supplier failure could have on their operations.

That’s why at the start of the pandemic, RiskRecon, a Mastercard company, offered free access to its services for health care organizations through the end of 2020, helping them assess their digital footprint and identify weak points, creating a risk heat map of potential vulnerabilities. RiskRecon was also recently selected as the first global ambassador for the Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center (Health-ISAC), a nonprofit forum for health care companies to collaborate on cybersecurity.

Read the full article on the Mastercard Newsroom to learn why health care data breaches were on the rise in 2020, and how RiskRecon can help tackle some of the cybersecurity challenges facing the health care industry.