The cyber threat to the healthcare business has increased dramatically in recent years. This new era of digitization has brought numerous benefits to the healthcare industry, but the more complex medical device automation develops, the more vulnerable they become to cyber-attacks.
Healthcare organizations are of particular interest to the threat actors for a few reasons:
- Private patient data is worth a lot of money to hackers.
- IoT medical devices are easy to tamper with.
- The hospital personnel are not prepared for the online risks.
- The outdated technology used in hospitals puts the infrastructure at risk.
Cyber security issues in the Healthcare Sector –
Whether large or small, healthcare businesses are a prime target for cybercriminals. The healthcare industry is particularly appealing to cybercriminals due to its possession of monetary private data. They store valuable information like medical records, credit or debit card details, social security numbers, and so on. Stolen health records might fetch ten times the price of any other type of data on the black market.
The healthcare industry faces a variety of issues, most of which are specific to it. They are in charge of safeguarding their patients’ medical and financial information, and with the rise in the number of IoT medical devices over the last decade, healthcare has encountered numerous issues that other industries have not.
Medical equipment that are web-enabled are frequently required to keep a patient alive. Disabling or tampering with their functionality may endanger the patient’s life.
Facts and Figures –
The cost of a breach in the healthcare industry is almost three times more than any other industry, averaging $408 per stolen healthcare record versus $148 per stolen non-healthcare record, says IBM and Ponemon Institute Report.
Cybersecurity Ventures also reports that the healthcare industry’s cybersecurity market will grow by 15% over the next five years, and reach $125 billion over five years from 2020 to 2025.
Types of cyber threats faced by the healthcare industry –
The most common, and most dangerous, are data breaches that are widely observed in the healthcare industry. These breaches can occur due to different factors, including malware or ransomware attacks, an insider threat, DDoS attacks, or just simply due to human error. Healthcare data breaches occur when healthcare providers fail to implement appropriate security measures.
- Insider Threats
Organizations are so keen on protecting their IT infrastructure from external attacks that they forget the danger lurking in the shadows of their organization–the insiders. An insider poses a huge risk due to their access to the internal networks. They may also possess knowledge of the network setup and the vulnerabilities better than anyone on the outside.
The insider threat ranges from an oblivious employee clicking on a malicious link unknowingly to an employee with malicious intent giving away access codes or selling personal patient information purposely.
- DDoS Attacks
DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) attacks are designed to take down networks and applications. DDoS attacks use botnets (groups of servers) to launch attacks for a variety of reasons, including extortion, data extraction, and malware infection. These assaults can be used to divert IT security personnel’s attention away from a significant data breach. It may result in the loss of a patient’s data in the worst-case situation.
- Malware or Ransomware
The most significant threats in the healthcare industry are ransomware or malware attacks. Ransomware is a cyberattack in which criminals encrypt valuable data, hold it hostage, and demand a ransom to decrypt it. The healthcare industry was already dealing with a lot of concerns at the time of COVID-19, and Ransomware assaults further added to the stress.
How can healthcare providers prevent cyber attacks?
We have been able to better prepare for future cyber-attacks as a result of the improvement of cyber security measures, but there is still a problem since the more sophisticated measures we take to defend our infrastructure, the smarter the cyber-attacks become.
Nonetheless, there are some steps that may be taken to protect the security of medical devices and hospital networks:
- Raising awareness and educating the healthcare personnel about online risks can be a big help.
- Using strong passwords and two-factor authentication to protect medical devices from unauthorized access.
- Updating your equipment to the newest version so the previous vulnerabilities and threat factors can be eliminated.
- Implementing a good antivirus to rid the equipment of worms and viruses.
- Securing your communication with other devices to ensure your healthy devices aren’t corrupted by the infected ones.
The vulnerabilities in an organization’s infrastructure are the primary cause of every hack. Performing Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT) on a regular basis can help to prepare all networks and devices for the inevitable cyber threats by identifying and eliminating the vulnerabilities present in them.
HOW KRATIKAL CAN HELP?
Kratikal Tech Pvt. Ltd. is a CERT-In empanelled cyber security solutions firm, providing leading-edge cybersecurity products and services. We offer a complete suite of VAPT testing services to ensure your infrastructure security, including:
- Web Application Testing
Application Security Testing helps you detect vulnerabilities present in your web applications to reduce the risk of possible exploitation.
- Network Security Testing
Infrastructure Penetration Testing is a method of evaluating the state of security of the internal network. It detects the vulnerabilities present in networks, network devices, systems, and hosts so they can be corrected before a hacker can discover and exploit them.
- IoT Devices Security Testing
The IoT devices connected to technology are forever at risk of exploitation and manipulation. IoT Security Testing is done to make sure the hackers do not take advantage of the vulnerabilities present in these networks.
- Cyber Security Assessment and Pen testing for Medical Devices
Vulnerabilities in medical devices put patients and people who require healthcare at danger. This assessment tries to find exploitable vulnerabilities in these devices so that they may be secured against assaults, potentially saving not only the organization’s infrastructure but also people’s lives.