Examining Top Two Cybersecurity Threats

In the digital age, the ability to review and respond to cyber threats is more important than ever. And as healthcare systems become increasingly reliant on technology, cyber attacks become more prevalent risks, particularly with the uptick in new methods designed to infiltrate your networks.

To minimize the risk of successful attacks, IT security teams must be constantly aware of major threat trends, even the ones that don’t appear to target their industries. This week, we examine two standouts from the most recent Threat Landscape Report that are most likely to specifically impact healthcare.

Living Off the Land

This refers to a type of attack in which cybercriminals make use of software that already exists on the system at risk. Say a hacker decides to make use of PowerShell, a standard Windows application and one of the most popular targets for these attacks. They may use PowerShell to deliver ransomware or other malicious payloads, encrypt data, and move laterally across the network.

The danger in a living-off-the-land attack is that because the malicious code attempts to be part of a sanctioned process, i.e. pre-installed software such as PowerShell, security teams have may have a harder time detecting and defining it. Healthcare systems are consistently deploying connected tools that may not be designed with cybersecurity in mind, so to address potential vulnerabilities, it’s important to regularly check devices and their pre-installed tools to ensure they’re safe from compromise.

Targeted Ransomware

Several high-profile ransomware attacks in the past year have shown that now more than ever, attackers will take the time to target and plan to maximize their impact.

In one notable attack, the ransomware LockerGoga was used by hackers who obtained and used privileged credentials to operate with minimal evasion tactics. The precision of their attack indicated that they had already evaluated the targeted system’s defensive capabilities, and therefore knew exactly how to break through them.

If attackers are migrating from a more opportunistic model of malware distribution to an approach that focuses on specifically selected networks, hospitals may be a bigger target than ever, as they are more willing to pay to reclaim data in the case of a ransomware attack. Even then, reclaimed data may be corrupted or missing, and as a result, it’s crucial to have consistently current data backups.

Stay Vigilant

The aptly named Threat Landscape Report reminds us that cyber attacks are always on the horizon, and there can be no better defense than action—which includes ensuring your compliance with healthcare security protocols.

Our comprehensive HIPAA Risk Assessment guarantees the safety of your patients’ protected health information with a streamlined, multilevel process that includes:

  • Risk Management — Evaluate information and resources to ensure the capability to make risk management decisions
  • Policy and Procedures — Ensure policies and procedures follow best practices and are properly implemented
  • Infrastructure Security — Workstations, services, and server meet best practices security standards
  • Network security — Ensure network is secure and properly monitored
  • Data security — All PHI and data is secure and protected

Don’t wait for hackers to put your systems to the test. Contact us today.