How to Get Rid of Healthcare Cyber-attacks in 2022

Bineesh Mathew | November 12, 2021 | 268 views

The healthcare industry focuses on providing the best service to each patient leveraging the latest technology. Hospitals use the latest technologies to improve patient care and treatment. However, as they constantly commit themselves to the services, they get no time or opportunities to educate themselves about cyber threats.

This makes room for healthcare cyber-attacks to happen quickly. In addition, cyber threat actors and criminals are looking to exploit these vulnerabilities. Apart from breach of privacy and financial loss, healthcare cyber-attacks may put lives at risk due to patient data loss. Thus, due to the nature of the functionalities in the sector, cybersecurity in healthcare is at stake, making room for more necessary measures before it gets critical.


Healthcare Cyber-attacks

By the end of 2020, cyber-attacks in healthcare had increased by 45 percent, which is twice the size occurring in the other sectors. This is due to implementing the latest technologies to overcome the hurdles brought by the pandemic in the healthcare industry.


Reasons Why Attackers Target Hospitals

There are many reasons why cybercriminals target hospitals. Some of them can be:

  • Selling patient data gets the attackers a lot of money
  • Attackers can quickly enter into medical devices
  • Staff in hospitals are not well educated on cyber threats
  • Vulnerabilities increase as the number of devices used in hospitals are high
  • Most of the hospitals have outdated technologies that increase the vulnerabilities


Healthcare Cyberattacks across the U.S.

The total number of healthcare breaches in 2019 in the U.S. was 386, and in 2020, it was 599 resulting in an increase of 55.1%. However, breaches due to hacking and IT incidents stood at 67.3%.Healthcare cyber-attacks were the main reason for the theft of the personal information of patients. In 2020 alone, around 26 million patient records reached unauthorized hands. Out of this, 24.1 million incidents were due to healthcare cyber-attacks.

Ways to Getting Rid of Healthcare Cyber-attacks in 2022

We have learned how the healthcare sector is more prone to cyber-attacks and why criminals target hospitals more than other sectors. Understanding this, you have to take immediate and necessary actions to mitigate the cyber threats.

Outlined are the following actions and measures to reduce healthcare cyber-attacks.


Solid Healthcare Cybersecurity Policy

In the healthcare sector, all hospitals should have a solid cybersecurity policy. Healthcare data can be compromised anytime and anywhere. A solid healthcare cybersecurity policy with effective measures is worth a ton for healthcare organizations. Moreover, it can easily prevent healthcare cyber-attacks largely.

Your healthcare cybersecurity policy can include the measures such as a policy regarding password, two-factor authentication, testing, detection program, third party policy, cybersecurity awareness programs for employees, and much more.


Automation and Monitoring

Even in small hospitals, there are countless devices and endpoints. This makes it hard for employees to maintain the security level adequately. Thus, professionals suggest automation and monitoring tools with the latest technologies, including IoT, AI, and machine learning. These specialized tools will help the security teams detect the healthcare cybersecurity threat early and mitigate it quickly. Furthermore, potential security breaches can be isolated through this constant monitoring with the help of automation and monitoring tools.

"Cyber teams should be in a constant state of monitoring and proactively looking for issues within their network and systems and be quick to respond. System updates and patching are always critical and all cybersecurity programs should include a very detailed and robust security awareness program as nearly all cyberattacks are initially carried out through a single user's action,"

Dave Summittt, CISO of Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla


Leverage Industry Best Cybersecurity Practices

In recent times, the healthcare industry has felt the blow for data theft and security breaches. This alarming fact points towards the need to strengthen cybersecurity in a healthcare organization. As part of strengthening cybersecurity and reducing healthcare cyber-attacks, the healthcare organization should leverage the industry's best cybersecurity practices.

The best cybersecurity practices advised by cyber security professionals are setting up a firewall, backing up data regularly, controlling electronic health information processes, following good computer habits, controlling network access, installing system anti-virus, and having a well-documented bring your device (BYOD). Practicing these aspects will make your organization free from many possible healthcare cyber-attacks.

Educate Employees

One of the main reasons for the increased number of healthcare cyber-attacks is that the staff is unaware of cyber threats. Therefore, it is high time for hospitals to educate their staff on cyber threats to get themselves away from risks.

All the staff must have a basic understanding of proper cybersecurity protocols. Hospitals should conduct phishing awareness training at work and teach their staff how to respond to dubious activities, such as suspicious e-mails, fraud, and phishing attacks. The access to hospital systems must be limited to credentialed staff members, only helping the hospital avoid unnecessary complications and breaches. The staff also should make sure the medical terminals are inactive when not in use.

Summing up

Cybercriminals find more opportunities to practice their unlawful activities in the healthcare industry than in any other industry. This is because the hospital employees are not aware of the security threats when they do their daily duties. Often, they do not have enough time to look into these masters as they do their best for their patients.

New technologies used in the healthcare sector to tackle the pandemic also challenge hospitals to maintain healthcare cybersecurity. The countless number of devices used in the hospitals is another reason for it. However, effective policies with adequate measures and educating the employees regarding the potential breaches will mitigate the breaches and safeguard the hospitals by reducing healthcare cyber-attacks.

Frequently Asked Questions


Why do cybercriminals target more on the healthcare industry than other industries?

One of the main reasons hospitals become the targets of malicious online activities is that the industry has many sensitive data, including patient data. Unfortunately, the healthcare industry usually does not have a solid system to prevent breaches.


What are the consequences of a healthcare data breach?

Healthcare data breaches affect the lives of patients. They are likely to mistrust the system and may withhold the information. Both financial and medical identity theft can happen in a healthcare data breach.

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"This makes security devices an attractive target for cyberattackers, potentially exposing patient data and ultimately putting patients at risk." Anand Oswal, senior vice president of products, network security at Palo Alto Networks While a Zero Trust approach is critical to help protect medical devices against today's innovative cyberthreats, it can be hard to implement in practice. Through automated device discovery, contextual segmentation, least privilege policy recommendations and one-click enforcement of policies, Palo Alto Networks Medical IoT Security delivers a Zero Trust approach in a seamless, simplified manner. Medical IoT Security also provides best-in-class threat protection through seamless integration with Palo Alto Networks cloud-delivered security services, such as Advanced Threat Prevention and Advanced URL Filtering. The new Palo Alto Networks Medical IoT Security uses machine learning (ML) to enable healthcare organizations to: Create device rules with automated security responses: Easily create rules that monitor devices for behavioral anomalies and automatically trigger appropriate responses. For example, if a medical device that typically only sends small amounts of data unexpectedly begins to use a lot of bandwidth, the device can be cut off from the internet and security teams can be alerted. Automate Zero Trust policy recommendations and enforcement: Enforce recommended least-privileged access policies for medical devices with one click using Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewalls or supported network enforcement technologies. This eliminates error-prone and time-consuming manual policy creation and scales easily across a set of devices with the same profile. Understand device vulnerabilities and risk posture: Access each medical device's Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) and map them to Common Vulnerability Exposures (CVEs). This mapping helps identify the software libraries used on medical devices and any associated vulnerabilities. Get immediate insights into the risk posture of each device, including end-of-life status, recall notification, default password alert and unauthorized external website communication. Improve compliance: Easily understand medical device vulnerabilities, patch status and security settings, and then get recommendations to bring devices into compliance with rules and guidelines, such as the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and similar laws and regulations. Verify network segmentation: Visualize the entire map of connected devices and ensure each device is placed in its designated network segment. Proper network segmentation can ensure a device only communicates with authorized systems. Simplify operations: Two distinct dashboards allow IT and biomedical engineering teams to each see the information critical to their roles. Integration with existing healthcare information management systems, like AIMS and Epic Systems, helps automate workflows. Healthcare organizations are using Palo Alto Networks products to secure the devices that deliver cutting-edge care to millions of patients all over the world. "Establishing and maintaining acute situational awareness of the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) environment is paramount to establishing an effective enterprise cybersecurity program. The ability to accurately detect, identify and respond to cyber threats is critical to ensuring minimal operational impact to clinical operations during a cyber event," said Tony Lakin, CISO, Moffitt Cancer Center. "Palo Alto Networks IoT capability seamlessly integrates with our continuous monitoring processes and threat-hunting operations. The platform consistently provides my teams with actionable information to allow them to proactively manage the threat surface of our medical device portfolio." "With thousands of devices to manage, healthcare environments are extremely complex and require intelligent security solutions capable of doing more. Palo Alto Networks understands this requirement and is leveraging machine learning (ML) for Medical IoT security. Adding intelligence will enable providers to improve operational efficiency, which will enhance patient and practitioner experience and alleviate the burden of an ongoing IT skills shortage," said Bob Laliberte, principal analyst, ESG. "Healthcare providers continue to be high-value targets for attackers. This reality, combined with the diversity of medical IoT devices and their inherent vulnerabilities, points to a real need for device security that is purpose-built for healthcare use cases. The ability to defend against threats targeting critical care devices while maintaining operational availability and strengthening the alignment of device governance responsibilities between IT and Biomed engineering teams is quickly becoming a necessity for the protection of patient data and lives," said Ed Lee, research director, IoT and Intelligent Edge Security, IDC. About Palo Alto Networks Palo Alto Networks is the world's cybersecurity leader. We innovate to outpace cyberthreats, so organizations can embrace technology with confidence. We provide next-gen cybersecurity to thousands of customers globally, across all sectors. Our best-in-class cybersecurity platforms and services are backed by industry-leading threat intelligence and strengthened by state-of-the-art automation. Whether deploying our products to enable the Zero Trust Enterprise, responding to a security incident, or partnering to deliver better security outcomes through a world-class partner ecosystem, we're committed to helping ensure each day is safer than the one before. It's what makes us the cybersecurity partner of choice.

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DATA SECURITY,PLATFORM SECURITY,SOFTWARE SECURITY

Absolute Software Unveils New Product Innovations for Resilient Zero Trust

Absolute | December 01, 2022

Absolute Software™ , the only provider of self-healing, intelligent security solutions, today announced new product innovations, empowering customers with deeper visibility and intelligence, expanded software integrations, and a refreshed user experience through its latest updates to Absolute Secure Endpoint and Absolute Secure Access. These product releases continue the company’s investment in bringing together the combined power of Absolute Secure Endpoint and Absolute Secure Access with our unique, firmware-embedded self-healing capability, enabling customers to achieve truly resilient Zero Trust environments and deliver an optimal user experience. This announcement builds on the launch of Absolute ZTNA – the industry’s first self-healing Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) solution – and Absolute Insights™ for Endpoints and Network, providing unparalleled intelligence into device, application, and network performance. Embedded in more than 600 million devices, Absolute is the only intelligent security solutions provider capable of delivering visibility, control, and resiliency across endpoints, applications, and network connections. The Absolute Platform enables IT and security teams to ensure their endpoints remain compliant and mission-critical applications remain operational, and empowers them to transition from traditional VPNs to a resilient Zero Trust approach without hindering security or user productivity. A recent 451 Research report validates Absolute’s differentiated platform approach and capabilities, saying: Too often, organizations don’t fully consider the resilience of the deployed zero-trust environment, and network access and device security are handled independently. It’s a situation that complicates security operations and one that can impact employee productivity. “Our common platform addresses a wide range of market needs, as we have the unique ability to apply self-healing capabilities to devices, applications, and network access. “Organizations are acknowledging that they need resilience-focused Zero Trust approaches, capable of integrating endpoint and access assessments at every step. By providing the critical components needed to achieve that resiliency - deep visibility, intelligence, and firmware-embedded Persistence - we are enabling them to not only protect devices, data, and users but also ensure critical controls are operating at maximum efficacy.” John Herrema, EVP of Products and Strategy at Absolute New capabilities available to Absolute Secure Endpoint customers in the latest product release include: Public API Expansion: The latest Absolute Secure Endpoint release adds new Public APIs to our existing library, allowing customers and partners to integrate our device actions into their existing workflows - significantly improving the efficiency of their existing workflows and enhancing automation capabilities. Absolute Connector for ServiceNow™: The Absolute Connector for ServiceNow enables joint customers to access Absolute’s comprehensive asset intelligence and single source of truth within their ServiceNow platform environment – enabling them to efficiently respond to service requests, supplement their ServiceNow workflows, and rapidly demonstrate compliance. Expanded Application Resilience™ Catalog: The Absolute Application Resilience catalog now includes support for more than 60 critical security applications that IT and security administrators can self-heal across their endpoints. Recent additions include WinMagic® MagicEndpoint™, Dell™ Trusted Device, Deep Instinct™, Norton 360™, OPSWAT™, UNOWHY™, Aranda Software™, and Pixart® MDM. The company also announced upcoming server and client enhancements to Absolute Secure Access, including: New Look and Feel: The names, status icons, fonts, and colors have been updated to reflect new product names and refreshed corporate brand; the core functionality and upgrade experience remain smooth and easy. SaaS Enhancements: The SaaS offering adds native NAT capabilities and enhanced alerting. Enhanced 5G Telemetry and Detection: Insights for Network dashboards that display cellular coverage, signal quality, and usage now include the 5G mid-band spectrum, and reflect improved 5G sensitivity. Deeper Visibility: The Secure Access/webService API has been enhanced, offering programmatic access to key pool performance metrics, including status information for our Active/Active server infrastructure. Faster NAC Checks: NAC capabilities are optimized, significantly reducing the time it takes for the VPN to connect and begin tunneling traffic. Android Client Enhancements: Collecting network telemetry on Android devices can now be done with the screen off to improve battery life, ensuring that administrators have actionable device and network information even if a device is in sleep mode. The Android cryptographic libraries providing FIPS 140-2 cryptography are also updated. The features included in the latest Absolute Secure Endpoint release are available now. For additional details, including which are available to Control, Visibility, or Resilience tier customers, visit here. The company expects to make Absolute Secure Access updates available to customers in January 2023. About Absolute Software Absolute Software is the only provider of self-healing, intelligent security solutions. Embedded in more than 600 million devices, Absolute is the only platform offering a permanent digital connection that intelligently and dynamically applies visibility, control and self-healing capabilities to endpoints, applications, and network connections - helping customers to strengthen cyber resilience against the escalating threat of ransomware and malicious attacks. Trusted by 18,000 customers, G2 recognized Absolute as a leader for the eleventh consecutive quarter in the Fall 2022 Grid® Report for Endpoint Management and as a high performer in the Grid Report for Zero Trust Networking.

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DATA SECURITY,PLATFORM SECURITY,SOFTWARE SECURITY

Netskope Further Improves Risk Visibility on AWS, Strengthening Customers' Security Posture

Netskope | December 01, 2022

Netskope, a global leader in secure access service edge (SASE), is announcing new support of Amazon Web Services (AWS) to further improve visibility of risks and threats on AWS services, resulting in even stronger security postures for customers. Through this work, Netskope will support the launch of AWS Verified Access and Amazon Security Lake to drive innovation for enterprises running on AWS. As the cybersecurity landscape becomes more complex and multifaceted, organizations want to confidently know their data, employees, and resources are safe from potential attacks. Netskope has helped thousands of customers, including more than 25 of the Fortune 100, improve their security posture through integrated zero trust network access (ZTNA), secure web gateway (SWG), cloud access security broker (CASB), cloud security posture management (CSPM), storage scanning with data loss prevention (DLP), cloud firewall, Borderless WAN, and more. By meeting the rigorous standards of supporting the launch of AWS Verified Access and Amazon Security Lake, Netskope and customers can have greater confidence in the company's deep technical expertise on AWS and its proven track record in securing even the most complex cloud journeys. "As organizations search for seamless support and unification of their cloud security services, our work with AWS will help customers achieve even better visibility and protection in a cloud-first, hybrid work environment. "Hybrid work today happens in the office, at home, or on the go, and with this new support of Amazon Security Lake and AWS Verified Access, we'll help customers navigate their cloud security journey by securing data from anywhere, on any device." Andy Horwitz, Vice President, Business Development and Technology Alliances at Netskope Netskope will support Amazon Security Lake and AWS Verified Access by providing visibility and real-time data and threat protection when accessing cloud services, applications, and data. Customers can expect broader and more granular data sharing to expose cloud threats and security gaps, better alert prioritization so security teams can remediate the highest threats first, and a stronger security posture with faster remediation strategies in place. "Netskope and AWS continue to help organizations with security capabilities they need to protect their users and data everywhere," said Chris Grusz, Director, ISV Partner and AWS Marketplace Business Development. "Netskope is a trusted security provider for many cloud-first organizations, and the expanded relationship with AWS will allow customers to better realize the full value of their AWS Security investments." About Netskope Netskope, a global cybersecurity leader, is redefining cloud, data, and network security to help organizations apply Zero Trust principles to protect data. Fast and easy to use, the Netskope platform provides optimized access and real-time security for people, devices, and data anywhere they go. Netskope helps customers reduce risk, accelerate performance, and get unrivaled visibility into any cloud, web, and private application activity. Thousands of customers, including more than 25 of the Fortune 100, trust Netskope and its powerful NewEdge network to address evolving threats, new risks, technology shifts, organizational and network changes, and new regulatory requirements.

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