Hacking Hospitals And Holding Hostages: Cybersecurity In 2016

KALEV LEETARU |

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Yesterday morning MedStar Health became just the latest organization to suffer the damage of a cyberattack in what early reports suggest may be yet another ransomware attack. Unlike traditional cyberattacks designed to exfiltrate records, delete data or physically damage computing systems, ransomware attacks appear to be on the rise due to the ease in which such extortion translates directly to money in the pockets of cyber criminals. If MedStar’s cyberattack turns out to be ransomware, it would join at least three other medical institutions breached in just the last few weeks. Combined with the anonymity of bitcoin and the rise of targeted attacks focused on soft targets like hospitals, 2016 is shaping up to be a bountiful year in the extortion business.

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OTHER ARTICLES

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As Ransomware Surge Continues, Where Next for Government?

Article | March 30, 2020

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And when President Biden met with Russian President Putin last month in Geneva, he declared that certain critical infrastructure should be “off-limits” to cyber-attacks. “We agreed to task experts in both our countries to work on specific understandings about what is off-limits,” Biden said. “We’ll find out whether we have a cybersecurity arrangement that begins to bring some order.” As an initial positive step forward, this cyber defense policy makes sense. In fact, most global experts applaud these moves and efforts to better protect and clarify international crimes in cyberspace. Previous administrations going back to George W. Bush have taken aggressive steps to ensure critical infrastructure is protected in the U.S. and around the world through actions involving people, process and technology, both offline and online. The 16 critical infrastructure sectors identified by DHS/CISA can be found here. 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"This situation may send a message to some of the players that they need to find a less-aggressive business model, which could mean avoiding critical infrastructure, or it could mean avoiding U.S. targets.” Also, the Biden administration announced several other measures to combat ransomware: “The Biden administration will offer rewards up to $10 million for information leading to the identification of foreign state-sanctioned malicious cyber activity against critical U.S. infrastructure — including ransomware attacks — and the White House has launched a task force to coordinate efforts to stem the ransomware scourge. "It is also launching the website stopransomware.gov to offer the public resources for countering the threat and building more resilience into networks, a senior administration official told reporters.” And yet, many experts are still predicting that ransomware will continue to grow in the near future. 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Article | March 30, 2020

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Article | March 30, 2020

According to a Gartner study in 2018, the global Cybersecurity market is estimated to be as big as US$170.4 billion by 2022. The rapid growth in cybersecurity market is boosted by new technological initiatives like cloud-based applications and workloads that require security beyond the traditional data centres, the internet of things devices, and data protection mandates like EU’s GDPR. Cybersecurity, at its core, is protecting information and systems from cyberthreats that come in many forms like ransomware, malware, phishing attacks and exploit kits. Technological advancements have unfortunately opened as many opportunities to cybercriminals as it has for the authorities. These negative elements are now capable of launching sophisticated cyberattacks at a reduced cost. Therefore, it becomes imperative for organizations across all industries to incorporate latest technologies to stay ahead of the cybercriminals. 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There is a need to eliminate the stigma of ‘risk of doing business lies solely with the technology leaders of an organization. Oversight and proactive risk management must come under CEO focus. According to the National Association of Corporate Directors' 2016-2017 surveys of public and private company directors, very few leaders felt confident about their security against cyberattacks, perhaps due to their lack of involvement into the subject. Driving Management Awareness towards Cybersecurity • Gain buy-in by mapping security initiatives back to business objectives and explaining security in ways that speak to the business • Update management about your current activities pertaining to the security initiatives taken, recent news about breaches and resolve any doubts. • Illustrate the security maturity of your organization by using audit findings along with industry benchmarks such as BSIMM to show management how your organization fares and how you plan to improve, given their support. • Running awareness program for your management regarding spear-phishing, ransomware and other hacking campaigns that aim for executives and teach how to avoid them. The bottom line is that leaders can seize the opportunity now to take meaningful actions designed to bolster the resilience of their organizations, withstand disruptive cyber threats and build a secure digital society. The bottom line is that leaders can seize the opportunity now to take meaningful actions designed to bolster the resilience of their organizations, withstand disruptive cyber threats and build a secure digital society.. Pwc READ MORE: WEBROOT: WIDESPREAD LACK OF CYBERSECURITY BEST PRACTICES /11029 Preparing Cybersecurity Workforce Hackers are able to find 75% of the vulnerabilities within the application layer. Thus, developers have an important role to play in the cybersecurity of an organization and are responsible for the security of their systems. Training insecure codingis the best way to raise their cybersecurity awareness levels. Raising Cybersecurity Awareness in Developers: • Training developers to code from the attackers’ point of view, using specific snippets from your own apps. • Explain in-depth about vulnerabilities found by calling remedial sessions. • Find ways to make secure coding easier on developers, like integrating security testing and resources into their workflow and early in the SDLC/ • Seek feedback from developers on how your security policies fit into their workflow and find ways to improve. Cybersecurity Awareness for Other Employees According to the Online Trust Alliance’s2016 Data Protection and Breach Readiness Guide, employees cause about 30% of data breaches. Employees are the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain. 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Organizations should consider a natively integrated, automated security platform specifically designed to provide consistent, prevention-based protection for endpoints, data centers, networks, public and private clouds, and software-as-a-service environments READ MORE: A 4 STEP GUIDE TO STRONGER OT CYBERSECURITY

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Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) enables people to make powerful connections--whether in business, education, philanthropy, or creativity. Cisco hardware, software, and service offerings are used to create the Internet solutions that make networks possible--providing easy access to information anywhere, at any time. Cisco was founded in 1984 by a small group of computer scientists from Stanford University. Since the company's inception, Cisco engineers have been leaders in the development of Internet Protocol (IP)-based networking technologies. Today, with more than 65,225 employees worldwide, this tradition of innovation continues with industry-leading products and solutions in the company's core development areas of routing and switching, as well as in advanced technologies such as home networking, IP telephony, optical networking, security, storage area networking, and wireless technology. In addition to its products, Cisco provides a broad range of service offerings, including technical su

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