Alarming increase in cyber attacks against healthcare facilities, 68 attacks in Q3 2021 alone

The past month has seen an alarming increase in cyber attacks against healthcare facilities. Ransomware attacks across the globe stranded 68 healthcare providers from their respective networks during the third quarter of this year, threatening patient safety and privacy. Experts fear that patients will suddenly be unable to receive intensive care at a targeted facility without a holistic approach to whole-facility cybersecurity.

Johnson Memorial Health Hospital in Franklin, Indiana, United States, and Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera, Israel, are just two examples of medical facilities under attack. At the Johnson Memorial, the attack in early October locked down databases and exposed patient data. A few days after the attack, the amount of the ransom has strangely not yet been demanded.

In early November, Hillel Yaffe Medical Center was attacked by an alleged Iranian-backed group, Black Shadow. The personal data of 290,000 people have been disclosed, and investigators estimated that it would take several weeks to recover and understand the full extent of what had been accessed.

OT equipment inherited from the healthcare sector is vulnerable to cyber attacks

As healthcare facilities modernize, their legacy OT equipment becomes vulnerable to hackers. Water, HVAC, oxygen, electricity, and other critical systems are connected, but may not provide proper cybersecurity monitoring and protection. Compromising any of these public services will have a negative impact on patient care, potentially threatening the lives of those treated.

“Access to patient data is worrisome, but the idea that hackers have access to components of a specific department or even a single operating room is alarming,” said Ilan Barda, CEO of Radiflow.

“Facility CISOs should focus on both IT systems and OT environments, starting with risk assessment through threat monitoring. There should be ongoing holistic risk management for more mature organizations that combine both IT and OT systems. With Radiflow, teams can monitor the full range of an OT healthcare security from a central location.

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had warned of alarming trends in 2021, with 68 global attacks on healthcare facilities in the third quarter of this year alone.

Source link