KnowBe4 Report: Rising Malware Attacks Threaten Irish and UK Healthcare Sectors

London, UK

KnowBe4 report finds that the region’s healthcare sectors struggle to defend themselves against cyber attacks due to lack of preparedness

KnowBe4, the provider of the world’s largest security awareness training and simulated phishing platform, today 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”.UK-Ireland-Report_EN-US

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-proneTM Percentages (PPP) of Irish and UK organisations before and after training.

Key findings from the report 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. A 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 Rising Threat Of Malware Attacks In Ireland And United Kingdom Healthcare Sectors report, visit  

About KnowBe4

KnowBe4, the provider of the world’s largest security awareness training and simulated phishing platform, is used by more than 60,000 organisations around the globe. Founded by IT and data security specialist Stu Sjouwerman, KnowBe4 helps organisations address the human element of security by raising awareness about ransomware, CEO fraud and other social engineering tactics through a new-school approach to awareness training on security. Kevin Mitnick, an internationally recognized cybersecurity specialist and KnowBe4’s Chief Hacking Officer, helped design the KnowBe4 training based on his well-documented social engineering tactics. Tens of thousands of organisations rely on KnowBe4 to mobilise their end users as their last line of defence.

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