In recent years, the cyber threat to the healthcare industry has increased dramatically. This new era of digitization has brought many benefits to the healthcare industry, but as medical device automation becomes more complex, it becomes more susceptible to cyberattacks.
There are numerous reasons why threat actors are particularly interested in healthcare organizations, such as:
- The information of private patients is extremely valuable to hackers.
- IoT medical devices are easily manipulated.
- Most of the time, the hospital staff is unprepared for online dangers.
- The infrastructure is at risk due to the use of obsolete technology in hospitals.
Therefore, penetration testing is of utmost importance in order to protect the healthcare industry from hackers. It can help the business meet health insurance profitability and accountability (HIPAA) compliance.
Most of the time, the IT environment of an organization determines what kinds of attacks it can be vulnerable to. Attackers can get into key systems and data through bugs in web browsers, operating systems, and server interfaces.
Therefore, while making the security plan, each network component should be taken into consideration. Penetration testing can often help identify many of the common weaknesses in application code and is the best way to find any vulnerabilities before the code is put into use.
What are the most prevalent cybersecurity issues in healthcare?
Cybercriminals tend to target healthcare companies of all sizes. The predominant reason for the same is that it has financial private data. They hold medical records, credit card numbers, social security numbers, along with other information which can further be used by hackers for malicious purpose. Stolen health records may sell for ten times more than other data on the black market.
Most of the times healthcare issues are industry-specific. With the rise of IoT medical devices over the last decade, healthcare has faced many issues that other industries have not.
For instance, Web-enabled medical devices often save lives. Disabling them could jeopardize the life of a patient.
Threats posed by cyberspace to the healthcare industry –
- Data Breach – Healthcare data breaches are the most prevalent and dangerous. Malware, ransomware, DDoS, insider threats, and human error can cause these breaches. Healthcare providers fail to secure data.
- Intrusions – Organizations are so focused on protecting their IT infrastructure from external attacks that they overlook the insider threat. Access to internal networks makes insiders dangerous. They may know the network setup and vulnerabilities better than outsiders. The insider threat ranges from a careless employee clicking on a malicious link to a malicious employee selling access codes or patient data.
- DDoS – DDoS attack stands for “Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack.” It is a cybercrime in which the attacker floods a server with internet traffic to stop users from getting to connected online services and sites. These attacks can be carried over a network. These attacks can be used to keep IT security staff from noticing a major data breach. In the worst case, it could cause the patient’s data to be lost.
- Malware/Ransomware – Ransomware and malware are the biggest healthcare threats. Criminals encrypt valuable data, hold it hostage, and demand a ransom to decrypt it in ransomware attacks. Ransomware attacks compounded the healthcare industry’s COVID-19 woes.
HIPPA Compliance for Healthcare API
The HIPAA framework is governed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of the United States. The HHS collaborates with cybersecurity experts and government agencies to establish requirements that safeguard healthcare organizations, their business partners, and their patients. Although not a HIPAA requirement, penetration testing is an essential element of HIPAA compliance because it tests the strength of these requirements.
HIPAA’s Privacy and Security Rules Apply to all of the Following Entities:
|Healthcare Providers||Doctors, Psychologists, Dentists||Hospitals, Pharmacies, Nursing Homes, Medical employees|
|Healthcare Insurers||Private Business, Health Insurance Companies||Government Programs such as Medicare, Medicaid|
|Healthcare Clearing Houses||Service Providers, Digital Platforms||Convert non-standard health information into standard formats|
Key Cyber Security Principles for Healthcare
The following four key principles can help healthcare organizations take a more proactive stance against malware:
- Accept that malware and APTs will find a way to get past your security.
- Don’t trust endpoints until they prove themselves trustworthy.
- Trust in an endpoint is both temporary and limited.
- Verify that endpoints are free of malware anytime, anywhere.
How can Providers of Healthcare Prevent Cyberattacks?
As cyber security measures improve, we can better prepare for future cyber-attacks, but the smarter the attacks get, the more sophisticated our defenses must be. Nevertheless, the following measures can be taken to safeguard the security of medical devices and hospital networks:
- Raising awareness and educating healthcare professionals about online risks can be of great assistance.
- Using strong passwords and two-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized access to medical devices.
- Updating your equipment to the most recent version eliminates previous vulnerabilities and risk factors.
- Implementing a reliable anti-virus to eliminate worms and viruses from the system.
- Securing your communication with other devices to prevent infected devices from corrupting your healthy devices.
Every hack is primarily caused by the weaknesses in an organization’s infrastructure. Regularly performing Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT) can assist in preparing all networks and devices for inevitable cyber threats by identifying and eliminating their vulnerabilities.
By partnering with Redfox Security, you’ll get the best security and technical skills required to execute an effective and a thorough penetration test. Our offensive security experts have years of experience assisting organizations in protecting their digital assets through penetration testing services. To schedule a call with one of our technical specialists, call 1-800-917-0850 now.
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