KnowBe4 report: Rising malware attacks threaten Irish and UK healthcare sectors


KnowBe4 has released a new report showing the increasing impact cyber crime has on Irish and UK healthcare sectors entitled “Rising Threat Of Malware Attacks In Ireland And United Kingdom Healthcare Sectors”.

KnowBe4’s report details the rise of malicious attacks, financial costs, recovery efforts and other detrimental impacts cyber attacks have on Irish and UK healthcare sectors.

The report outlines contributing aspects to these attacks including the cost of one wrong click, the region-wide weakness, rising cyber attacks in the recent year, emerging threats from state-aligned groups and the importance of strengthening the human firewall.

Additionally, the report reveals the effectiveness of KnowBe4’s security awareness training based on the improved Phish-prone TM Percentages (PPP) of Irish and UK organisations before and after training.

Key findings include:

  1. UK organisations collectively experienced a surge in cyber attacks in 2022, with a 77% increase over 2021. Healthcare was the third most frequently targeted sector, with an increase of 74%.
  2. The impact of breaches is proving to be more far-reaching in terms of cost and time than previously thought. Organisations could be paying off the debt of a breach for many years to come. Therefore, stopping attacks becomes an even greater priority.
  3. Although some organisations may have a poor starting point, changing the overall security culture and investing in a solid security awareness training strategy can provide a rapid return on investment and significantly reduce risk.
  4. survey of 100 cybersecurity managers in the UK health sector found that 81% of healthcare organisations in the UK had been hit by ransomware in the previous year. 38% of the healthcare organisations attacked paid a ransom demand to get their files back. 44% refused to pay a demand and lost their healthcare data as a result. Close to two-thirds (64%) of respondents admitted their organisation has had to cancel in-person appointments because of a cyber attack.
  5. Ransomware continues to be a menace, with the geopolitical climate creating an increasingly tricky situation for organisations to stay ahead of.

“Healthcare sector cyber attacks are more than just the average, typical attack,” said Stu Sjouwerman, CEO, KnowBe4. “These attacks have the potential to be life-threatening, especially when the outcome paralyses hospital systems resulting in cancelled surgeries, cancer treatments, emergency care and more.

“It is crucial that healthcare sectors in Ireland and the United Kingdom prioritise educating their employees on the social engineering threats that are currently rising in the region.

“Regular training results in better preparedness to combat cyber attacks and contributes to an overall stronger security culture, which is especially essential for organisations that are responsible for protecting extremely personal and private information.”

To download the report, visit  


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