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Cyberattackers Use AHS Alibi to Target Albertans

T

he cybersecurity chief of Alberta Health Services (AHS) has recently revealed that the cyberattacks in Alberta have been on the rise, where the attackers use the organization’s name to barge into people’s systems. The cyberattack attempts that reach you as a phishing email or text were noticed before the COVID-19 pandemic and are happening at an increasing rate now. 

As reported by CBC News, Robert Martin, Chief Information Security Officer at AHS said that the cybercriminals are targeting Albertans, majorly by using Alberta Health Services’ name for the same. “The number of people impersonating Alberta Health Services has risen,” says Martin. “We're being used as a recognizable name to trick other people. There's a definite increase year over year.”

AHS had also issued a warning to the general public to be cautious of such cyberattacks and that AHS wasn’t asking for anyone’s personal information to be revealed by any means. Also, the health body will not randomly email anyone and never ask for money.

Martin further said that cyber attackers are usually looking for extorting money by such means. "People are targeting healthcare organizations because they're trying to take advantage of the pandemic," he says. "We do see some people trying to get us to click the link with some vulnerability or some software on them. And in some cases, it's just purely credential stealing. In some cases, it's ransomware," adds Martin.

It has been a trend where cybercriminals use reputable names to contact people, get their attention, make them click on suspicious links, and attack their systems with malware. They pick such organizations that individuals would rely on and would consider opening emails/texts coming from them. Corporate identity theft of AHS could be a "very serious” issue as patients’ medical and diagnostic information could be captured.  

Cyberattacks on Healthcare on The Rise 

A recent study finding released by Grant Thornton, a North American accounting firm, analyzes threats to Canadian cybersecurity in 2021-22. The report says that cybercriminals are turning toward vulnerable organizations including hospitals, critical infrastructure, and other enterprises where an attack could prove to be quite harmful. 

Last year, Newfoundland and Labrador's healthcare systems came under cyberattacks. They had major implications on the healthcare system and the attacks were amongst the worst in Canadian history. 

Martin further says that AHS invests deeply in cybersecurity every year to secure sensitive information and records. The organization is also ramping up monitoring of threats due to the persistent rise in cyberattacks of all kinds. 

The demand for cybersecurity experts is being propelled by the vulnerability of companies to cyberattacks. With a cyberattack occurring every 11 seconds globally, there is an emerging need for smart qualified IT professionals to take charge. Globally, cybercrime is predicted to cost all companies $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, up from $6 trillion in 2021. It will contribute majorly to the generation of jobs for cybersecurity specialists who can prevent enterprises from cyberattacks and handle the challenges of cybercrime. 

You can be a cybersecurity expert who helps keep a check on cybersecurity threats and mitigate the risk of cyberattacks in an organization. All you need to do is have meaningful education that lets you gain the right knowledge and skills. 

Want to Start a Rewarding Cybersecurity Career? 

If you want to acquire the relevant industry skills and begin a rewarding career in cybersecurity, ABM College’s Cybersecurity Diploma program is the right course for you. You can start working in the field upon graduation in just 70 weeks. You’ll be equipped with industry-ready skills to help you kickstart your journey as a cybersecurity professional.  

Ask us now how we can help you! 

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