Healthcare Cybersecurity Weekly Briefing 05-11-2018

Critical Informatics Healthcare Cyber Security

Critical Informatics Healthcare Cyber Security

Mark Your Calendar! Hack Timing Patterns
Companies and governments know they are targets for people looking to cause harm or profit by attacking their networks. Those threat actors are constantly evaluating networks and looking for ways to gain access. Most public and private organizations take this as a given and prepare appropriately. Those who aren’t already actively thinking about security should begin to do so immediately, and everyone should recognize that, yes, there are times when threat actors are particularly active. When a malicious actor decides to attack an organization, they consider a few things. First, they decide what they are trying to achieve with the attack.

Healthcare Sector Suffered More Than Half of all Cyber-attacks in 2017
While system damage and data destruction represented the top risks for industries that faced such attacks, the healthcare sector was the hardest hit, of which the WannaCry ransomware attack on NHS institutions in 2017 was a glaring example. While the sector suffered 34 percent of all attacks in 2016, the figure rose to 58 percent in 2017, signifying how lucrative the sector had become to cyber-criminals across the globe.

Health Apps: Convenience vs. Security Risks 
Many healthcare professionals use mobile apps for immediate communication with their patients and more responsive healthcare management. In a nutshell, there is a “mad dash” to address the demand of providing more “real time” health data. In response to this innovation, the question then becomes whether healthcare providers can tap into the available technology of “connectivity” and still protect health and personally identifiable information.

Abbott Addresses Life-Threatening Flaw in a Half-Million Pacemakers
Abbott (formerly St. Jude Medical) has released another upgrade to the firmware installed on certain implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) or cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator (CRT-D) devices – a.k.a., pacemakers. About 465,000 patients are affected. The update will strengthen the devices’ protection against unauthorized access, as the provider said in a statement on its website: “It is intended to prevent anyone other than your doctor from changing your device settings.”

 

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