Healthcare CyberSecurity

Healthcare Cybersecurity and Cyber Security in Healthcare Industry

Healthcare cybersecurity is a critical aspect of protecting sensitive medical information and ensuring the integrity and availability of healthcare industry systems. With the increasing digitization of healthcare data and the widespread use of personal health information, cyber security in healthcare industry is facing growing cybersecurity challenge.

The healthcare industry is no stranger to cyber security and cyberattacks. Hospitals, especially due to their large assets, are frequent targets of these attacks. These attacks prevent files and systems from being accessed until the attackers receive a payment. And these aren’t minor payments. Attackers are greedy, with the average paid ransom by healthcare firms in 2018 being just under $30,000. Paying the ransomware, however, is actually not recommended as it only encourages more attacks of this type . However, whether the ransom is paid or not, there is a risk of the data never being recovered (Ransomware Facts). The fact that the industry is so nonchalant about healthcare cybersecurity means that they are at serious risk…

Healthcare CyberSecurity

First and foremost, healthcare cybersecurity is paramount. The healthcare sector encompasses a wide array of organizations engaged in the most crucial, intricate, and data-intensive operations, all revolving around our well-being. As such, healthcare industry obtains highly unique, significant data. The value of the data within the healthcare and public health sector, which is largely personal health information (PHI), can sell for over 100x more than Personally Identifiable Information (PII) on the black market. Making this sector an attractive target for bad actors.

Healthcare Organizations also need to comply with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). To ensure protection of patient’s data and privacy.

Today, the healthcare industry, hospitals, pharmacies, laboratories and more, are benefiting from a close relationship with technology, thanks to all the advantages it has provided. However, this means greater risks of cyberattacks occurring (CyberSecurity Threats in Healthcare).

Does the Healthcare Industry have Healthy Cybersecurity?

Data breaches can have serious consequences, including financial losses, damage to reputation, and potential legal ramifications (Fight back against data breaches). In the realm of healthcare cybersecurity, the year 2018 witnessed 365 data breaches, averaging to one breach per day. These incidents laid bare over 13 million records, highlighting the sector’s vulnerability (Cases Currently Under Investigation).

The health sector is also susceptible to malware attacks, especially those of ransomware attacks, which make up 39% of malware-related attacks. Ransomware attacks will encrypt the target’s data until a payment is made. Whereby the decryption key still only might be provided. In 2020, nearly half of all healthcare data breaches were attributed to ransomware attacks, as reported by the HHS Office of Information Security’s “2020: A Retrospective Look at Healthcare Cybersecurity.”

Rogue devices are becoming an increasingly used attack tool. Due to their invisibility to security software since the attack occurs on the Physical Layer. Spoofed peripherals attached to an organization’s network or endpoint can perform exfiltration and injection actions, enabling data withdrawal or malware installation.

Network Security and Rogue Devices

In the domain of healthcare cybersecurity, rogue devices are peripherals that malicious actors have manipulated to act with malicious intent. They have the ability to carry out various types of malware attacks, including ransomware attacks, and data breaches. The aforementioned vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure can all be exploited by rogue devices. Making them a useful attack tool for perpetrators, but a dangerous enemy for the victim. Most importantly, these devices not only look genuine to the human eye but also go undetected by security software solutions. Which simply identify them as legitimate human interface devices (Hacked Device), such as a mouse or a keyboard. Therefore will not raise any EPS/EDR alerts. Network implants and spoofed devices attacks (spoofed laptops) occur on the Physical Layer (Layer 1). Which the existing security software, mainly network access control (NAC) and intrusion detection systems (IDS) does not cover.

Insider Cyber Threats

Certainly, there is a potential for employees to engage in malicious activities, such as insider threats. Nevertheless, the primary cybersecurity risks in the healthcare sector stem from employees unknowingly elevating the organization’s susceptibility to attacks or inadvertently instigating them. Malicious actors often exploit social engineering techniques. Taking advantage of the lack of on-the-job training, leading many employees to unwittingly fall prey to these tactics. Consequently, attackers can embed rogue links and websites within phishing emails, and when clicked, initiate the download of malware onto the endpoint.

Key Aspects of Healthcare Cybersecurity

Data Protection: Ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of sensitive patient information, often governed by regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA Security Rule).

Network Security: Implementing robust measures to secure networks, prevent unauthorized access, and detect and respond to any suspicious activities (Health Industry Cybersecurity Practices).

Endpoint Security: Protecting individual devices (computers, smartphones, medical devices) from malware, ransomware, and other cybersecurity threats.

Access Control: Restricting access to sensitive information based on roles and responsibilities, and ensuring that only authorized individuals can access patient data.

Incident Response: Establishing protocols to respond effectively to cybersecurity incidents, including data breaches or other security breaches.

Security Training and Awareness: Educating healthcare staff about cybersecurity best practices, recognizing phishing attempts, and promoting a culture of security awareness.

Regulatory Compliance: Adhering to relevant regulations and standards, such as HIPAA, which set guidelines for protecting patient health information.

Main Benefits of Sepio’s Solution

Sepio’s Asset Risk Management (ARM) platform provides comprehensive visibility and control over hardware assets. By leveraging unique physical layer hardware fingerprinting technology, Sepio detects and mitigates rogue devices. Ensuring organizations have full visibility of all hardware devices, from endpoints to connected devices (IT/OT/IoT).

With predefined granular policies, Sepio enables compliance, regulation, and best practices. Offering a fast and easy setup without the need for baselining or whitelisting. The platform integrates seamlessly with existing security platforms, enhancing mitigation and remediation capabilities.

Protect your healthcare organization from cyber threats with Sepio’s asset risk management innovative solution. Gain control over asset risks, detect known and shadow assets, and prioritize risk mitigation. By embracing Sepio’s Asset Risk Management platform, you fortify your ability to safeguard patient data, guarantee uninterrupted operational continuity, and stand resilient against the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare cybersecurity challenges.

See every known and shadow asset. Prioritize and mitigate risks.
Talk to an expert. It will help you understand how to use Sepio’s patented technology to gain control of your asset risks.

Learn more about Healthcare CyberSecurity:

HealthCare CyberSecurity Solution Brief (pdf)
June 17th, 2020