How to Respond to the Biggest Cybersecurity Challenges in Healthcare – Latest Hacking News

The healthcare industry has become critical for cybersecurity experts in recent years. Given the slow adoption of security measures, the healthcare industry has been an easy target for cybercriminals, serving their malicious interests with minimal effort.

A pertinent example is the WannaCry incident that initially occurred in 2017. It affected 40% of healthcare organizations and damaged over 300,000 machines in 150 countries, including 80 National Health Service hospitals in Great Britain. Interestingly, this incident could have been avoided if a robust patching policy had been used throughout the healthcare industry.

fighting cybersecurity challenges in healthcare it is a major hurdle for policymakers in the healthcare sector and requires security authorities to identify and focus on vulnerable areas that can expose patients and healthcare systems to threat actors.

Common cybersecurity challenges in healthcare

Cybersecurity threats in the healthcare industry are important to address given their severity for both patients and healthcare organizations. Data breaches damage the target IT infrastructure and expose patients to identity theft, intimidation and other attempts to exploit their illnesses. In addition, the interruption of the normal operation of the health facility may endanger the lives of patients.

Some common cybersecurity threats healthcare companies must deal with include:

  • data breaches
  • Exploitation of vulnerabilities in medical equipment
  • malware attacks
  • ransomware attacks
  • Low security from outdated or legacy systems (especially those with unpatched vulnerabilities)
  • DDoS attacks
  • Phishing/spearphishing attacks
  • internal threats

Dealing with cybersecurity challenges in healthcare

1. Adopt basic security practices

Regardless of how naive it seems, failing to adopt essential security best practices is often the reason behind successful cyberattacks.

The most important practice should be to set up a robust patching policy. This will ensure that any publicly available exploits are patched before cybercriminals have a chance to create their own unique exploits, eg WannaCry.

Other mandatory safety steps in any healthcare facility include:

  • Configuring strong passwords for user accounts
  • Enforcing secure login with multifactor authentication
  • Implementing robust firewalls to protect sensitive systems
  • Limiting access control to authorized users
  • Employing email security measures

2. Use network segmentation

Segregating sensitive systems and databases from the network is vital to preventing online attacks. While it is not possible to isolate all sensitive systems, especially in healthcare facilities where quick access is critical to the well-being of patients. Instead, healthcare services can implement network segmentation by deploying firewalls, virtual LANs, VPNs, and routers. Organizations can make it difficult for cyber attacks to reach sensitive network areas after an infiltration.

Healthcare companies can also set up separate networks for different resources, such as segregating medical equipment from financial and non-medical systems. These demarcations also prevent the loss of a plethora of data in a cyberattack.

3. Develop comprehensive mitigation and recovery plans

Some organizations may feel that they do not need to take additional measures after applying their initial security compliance. However, dealing with sophisticated and ever-evolving cybersecurity challenges in healthcare is not possible by mere compliance.

Instead, medical and healthcare facilities should devise inclusive disaster management, mitigation, and recovery plans to combat potential cybersecurity situations. Organizations should also consider conducting periodic (fairly regular) risk assessments, vulnerability scans and attack drills to ensure their readiness against cyber threats.

4. Partner with trusted security companies

Because medical facilities host a myriad of devices and equipment from multiple organizations with varying functionality, it can be difficult for IT staff to secure and monitor these diverse connections. Partnering with dedicated security providers like Indusface can help healthcare organizations ensure proper network security, including all connected devices. Likewise, healthcare companies should be careful when collaborating with other medical companies, limiting their partnerships with companies known for protecting their devices and data.

5. Run employee training and awareness programs

The last but most crucial strategy for all online businesses, including healthcare, is to ensure that cybersecurity staff are properly trained. Relevant institutions should not limit this security awareness to just personnel dealing with sensitive systems. Instead, healthcare facilities should conduct periodic awareness and training sessions for all staff, preparing them to detect anomalies, notice and report suspicious emails/messages, and handle security situations.

Conclusion

Innovative and rapidly evolving cyber threats made it inevitable for companies to devise robust strategies to address cybersecurity challenges in healthcare. From improving IT security to executing staff training and separating from trusted organizations, healthcare facilities must adopt all measures that contribute to their vigilance against cyber threats.

How to Respond to the Biggest Cybersecurity Challenges in Healthcare – Latest Hacking News

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