15 percent of all cyber-attacks targeted the healthcare industry in 2020, with most of those threats being malware and ransomware attacks. However, due to technological advancement in the healthcare sector, emerging security threats are on the rise.
Malicious actors constantly develop complicated methods and tools to infiltrate information systems that affect quality care in the healthcare industry. To prevent a system compromise, you must be aware of the emerging threats peculiar to the healthcare sector.
Cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving, especially cyber-attacks that affect healthcare systems. Here are the newest, emerging security threats in healthcare and some tactics for guarding against them.
Emerging Security Threats in Healthcare
The sensitive nature of healthcare data makes cyber-threat a genuine concern in the healthcare sector. Top emerging threats in the healthcare sector are:
- Medical equipment and devices: Identifying and controlling the security concerns affecting medical devices is a concern for healthcare security professionals. This is because modern technological devices rely on software systems that cybercriminals can exploit. The damaging effects of these cyber operations cause harm and disruption of patient care. From bedside monitors, wearable devices to diagnostics equipment, and homecare systems, protecting medical devices is challenging.
- Internal Threats: These are threats caused by people within the medical organization. Internal threats include careless and malicious actions of employees that expose the security system to external intrusions. They could also include employees deliberately giving access codes or patients’ sensitive information to cyber-criminals for profit.
- Software Supply Chain Attacks: A supply chain attack exploits the network of the supplier of a healthcare organization. Attackers do this by capitalizing on a vulnerability in the supplier system connected with the healthcare organization. This is possible when the defense system of the healthcare organization is lax about threat identification.
For example, malicious actors use compromised credentials of backup system hardware to infiltrate the backup site and the data center of hospitals. To counter this challenge, healthcare providers should provide patch software with the latest protection updates.
- Internet of Things (IoT) Attacks: Recently, there’s been a merging of Information Technology (IT) and physical equipment. They’re a growing range of endpoint devices connected to the internet. For instance, medical devices such as Heating, Ventilation, and Air-conditioning (HVAC) systems connect internal networks remotely. This enables remote hackers to send instructions to malware placed within these devices inside the target’s network. The malware reads the temperature variations created by the HVAC system and turns the received thermal signals into malicious operations.
These devices often lack strong security measures, leaving them vulnerable to attacks. These areas of weakness are of great concern to healthcare practitioners as they can disrupt healthcare services when manipulated by attackers. In addition, these disruptions have a drastic impact on patient care.
- Crypto-Mining and Crypto-Jacking Malware: Due to technological advancement, cryptocurrency payment has become an acceptable form of payment in the healthcare industry. However, cryptocurrency use has exposed the healthcare sector to crypto-related threats. Crypto-mining and crypto-jacking malware attacks are sophisticated attempts by malicious actors to infiltrate a network to mine sensitive data. Reputational damage and legal lawsuits are the negative consequences of crypto-related attacks on the healthcare industry.
Safeguards against Emerging Security Threats in Healthcare
Valuable tools that will help you avert emerging security threats in the healthcare industry include:
- Updated and sophisticated cybersecurity tools: To provide comprehensive protection for your systems, regular cybersecurity tools such as antivirus tools protection isn’t enough. You need vulnerability scanning tools such as Nessus and IBM Security Radar to provide advanced network monitoring. You also need to implement anti-malware tools and anti-malware tools, which will help you detect and block malicious links and entries.
- Endpoint protection: Endpoint protection protects entry points of devices, such as monitors, bedside scanners, etc. Multiple endpoint security tools such as Bitdefender are best for healthcare practitioners to prevent these points from exploitation by attackers. This protection covers all endpoints of devices on an entire network.
- Artificial intelligence (AI): Cybersecurity requires visibility; you can only protect your organization from known threats. AI tools such as IBM Watson develop security apps that help healthcare facilities proactively scan, detect, and respond to anomalies within a system. Because of AI’s sophistication, it’s more efficient in blocking advanced threats than other standard antivirus tools.
- System vulnerability checks: Periodic vulnerability scans of your network and applications will help you expose the vulnerabilities in your system. Vulnerability scanners are automated tools used to check network and system loopholes. Some examples of apps used for system vulnerability checks include Nmap and Nessus.
- Network monitoring services: Network monitoring systems have software and hardware tools that track the activities of a healthcare system. These monitoring tools send alerts once oddities are detected. Recommended Network monitoring platforms for healthcare organizations are SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor, Datadog Network Monitoring, ManageEngine, and OpManager, as they provide comprehensive monitoring of networks.
- Automatic protection for anomaly detection: The healthcare industry requires cybersecurity tools that avert attacks by delivering automatic feedback when malfunctions are detected in the security system. Practical cybersecurity tools include firewalls that block IP addresses when the system detects unsanctioned entries. In addition, authentication tools such as Duo Security, Google Authenticator, and Authy also initiate authentication alerts when unauthorized access into a system is detected.
As malicious actors continue to innovate more complex threats, it’s necessary to implement cybersecurity tools that will allow your team to identify, prevent, and control threats in double time. Cybersecurity tools will also help you to monitor your systems and notify you about loopholes susceptible to exploitation.
This is why you need RSI Security. RSI Security is your one-stop shop for all cybersecurity solutions. We’re available to assist you in eliminating risks and secure your security systems. Should an infringement occur, our team of professionals will be available to help you implement recovery solutions to restore your information systems. We are ready to help you with world-class technology advisory, cybersecurity, and compliance services.
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