Cyber Crime Security Risks for Healthcare Companies

Research in digital security management says that more than 95% of healthcare providers are deficient in their efforts, and suffered at least one reputation and/or security breach in the past 2 years. Medical records represent one of the most vulnerable types of data cyber criminals are interested in. What are the security risks for healthcare companies?

Ignoring the problem will cost billions

According to a survey carried out by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, 58% of healthcare providers have no human resources dedicated to security. It seems clear that these companies are not grasping the importance of dealing effectively with the phenomenon of data breach, which can cost them billions in lost revenue and reputation.

Cyber crime is getting smarter and smarter, and is now targeting the healthcare sector as it is one of the most vulnerable. SecureWorks reports healthcare has been subject to an increasing amount of cyber attacks. Take a look to compare the situation with other sectors:

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Advanced Persistent Threats

Cyber crime is an evolving threat for healthcare providers that do not know how to deal with the issue. As the environment evolves, in fact, new trends emerge that put a whole industry in danger. Intellectual property, reputation and financial assets are at risk when dealing with Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs), a new type of cyber attack that is more sophisticated, better organized and often connected to hacktivist movements.

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Such attacks happen when cyber attackers realise you have something specific that is valuable for them (a set of data, patient billing, credentials) and they devise a long term plan to get it from you.

APTs target specific companies and organizations, trying to enter the target’s environment via traditional cyber crime methodologies such as phishing, malware etc. Once they manage to establish their presence on a specific device connected to the system, they go on with more advanced techniques.

The lifecycle of this type of threat is very complex and includes several phases. The primary goal of the attackers is establishing a foothold in the healthcare digital environment, targeting the weakest link of the chain. As Symantec clearly explains,

Gaining a foothold in the target environment is the primary goal of the initial intrusion. Once a system is exploited, the attacker usually places malware on the compromised system and uses it as a jump point or proxy for further actions. Malware placed during the initial intrusion phase is commonly a simple downloader, basic Remote Access Trojan or a simple shell.

Their low profile allows them to maintain the attack over the long term:

Advanced Persistent Threats  How They Work   Symantec

Strixus for Healthcare

With a global early warning system like Strixus, healthcare providers can take advantage of unrivalled cyber monitoring in real time, preventing or locating existing security threats or lost data. Implementing such proactive measures will protect from lost reputation and revenue.

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