Cybersecurity Services for Healthcare Organizations
How Threat Actors are Targeting Healthcare Organizations
Threat actors resort to various and trusted methods when attempting to access the protected network of a major industry. This can begin with performing reconnaissance, port scanning, spearfishing and other intrusive tactics.
The chaos and disruption endured by the healthcare industry throughout the COVID-19 pandemic allowed threat actors to target and take advantage of the healthcare sector’s sporadic IT operations. Facing unprecedented circumstances, healthcare and cybersecurity professionals alike had to dramatically adjust their way of working in a post-pandemic world.
While healthcare workers served on the frontline, cybersecurity professionals scrambled to rehaul, adjust and secure the defensive capabilities pivotal in protecting the healthcare sector’s digital environments. If hackers breach a network, they can cause severe damage – such as targeting EHR systems and restricting access to life-saving patient data. Threat actors can cause ambulance diversions and appointment cancellations, hack medical devices and impersonate staff – all directly jeopardizing patient safety.
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Why Healthcare Organizations are Targets of Cyberattacks
The healthcare industry has the highest average cost of a data breach ($10.10M) across all industries.
Advanced medical device security is of particular concern, as the unforeseen software vulnerabilities of the device design weren’t predicted during their creation. While threat actors may not intend to use the medical device as a route of access, their low-level protection makes them an easy target for cyberattacks.
The space for the illegal selling of private patient information on the black market is huge and thus, there’s much incentive for threat actors to profit off the healthcare industries’ expansive and loosely protected medical data.
Moreover, the healthcare sector may become the target of cyberattacks due to a lack of administrative funding, which may not prioritize the adequate budget needed in heightening cybersecurity around their IT apparatus. Outdated healthcare legacy technologies, which don’t meet contemporary IT standards and fail to properly fortify the network are also exacerbated by budget limitations.
How Can Healthcare Organizations Avoid Cyber Risk?
Methods For Reducing Cyber Risk
Threat actor methods are constantly advancing, and so too must the cybersecurity technologies designed to protect against them. There are several ways to defend the healthcare industry’s cyber-realm, such as cultivating an understanding of security culture within the workplace. Protective cybersecurity measures become redundant when covered entities aren’t educated on the potential risks of user access. Building staff awareness on the usage of cybersecurity will reinforce a strong understanding and preparedness in tackling potential cyberattacks.
Comprehensive staff training, assessing system weaknesses and fortifying user entry points with robust authentication processes can all help update and secure operations across all levels. Preventative practices can also come in the form of device encryption, firewalls, software configuration and verifying access permissions. Oversight of physician programs, radiology information, clinical, e-doctor and practice management systems need to be guaranteed for healthcare professionals to truly do their job. Prioritizing patient health is the main objective of medical professionals and to succeed in this regard, industry leaders must adopt contemporary solutions as part of an overarching cybersecurity strategy.
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Partner With Cybersecurity Experts
Covered entities need to be able to assume a proactive approach in handling any threat vectors. Cybersecurity for the healthcare industry is a non-negotiable necessity and will serve as a safety net underneath all healthcare IT operations.
However, this added layer of necessary cybersecurity can put a strain on already lean IT teams, leading to vulnerabilities and risks for the entire organization. However, by partnering with cybersecurity experts like Blue Team Alpha, IT teams can focus on keeping day to day operations running while the cybersecurity experts ensure that vulnerabilities are managed.