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Mitigating Risks from Cyberattacks on Healthcare Facilities

Cyberattacks that target important infrastructure, like healthcare, pose a serious threat to public health and safety. Criminal disruptions of hospital computer networks can have tragic consequences.

Most recently a bad cyber actor was arraigned on charges arising out of a cyberattack on a medical centre. The attacks disrupted phone service, information from a digitising device and disabled network printer service. In this case, the person was the chief operating officer of a network security company.

This cyberattack on a hospital not only has disastrous consequences on health services but patients’ personal information can be compromised. The FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ’s) law enforcement partners are determined to hold accountable those who allegedly put people’s health and safety at risk. This case is still being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and they are committed to holding accountable those who endanger the lives of patients by damaging e-systems essential to the operation of healthcare facilities.

According to an article, cybersecurity incidents targeting healthcare organisations have become more prevalent and impactful over the years. A report found that ransomware attacks cost the healthcare industry a collective $20.8 billion in downtime in 2020. The number of ransomware attempts against the healthcare industry rose by 123% in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic was a particularly serious time for the industry when the healthcare sector could not afford downtime due to cybersecurity attacks.

Another report found that 92 individual ransomware attacks occurred at healthcare organisations, and 600 clinics, hospitals and organisations were affected. In addition, more than 18 million patient records were impacted by these ransomware attacks, a 470% increase from 2019. In fact, 2020 brought the most ransomware attacks on healthcare providers in the past five years as hackers collected more than $2.1 million in ransom payments.

Double extortion attacks against the healthcare industry are a key strategy among bad actors. In a double extortion attempt, hackers steal the data and save copies in their own storage. Then they encrypt the data to prevent access. The hackers can then extort the victim for the decryption key and to keep the data off of the dark web.

There have been threats specifically targeting COVID-19 vaccine research, as well as the upstream and downstream supply chains of its development. This attack vector may continue for the foreseeable future as data around COVID-19 vaccine research and distribution may provide valuable insights at a nation-state or corporate espionage level.

Experts say healthcare organisations are easy targets for ransomware attacks because they cannot afford to lose access to patient records. Hospitals are more likely to pay ransoms on time as they cannot operate long without patient data as it will put patient health at risk. To protect against ransomware and other cybersecurity risks, companies should deploy machine learning and advanced threat protection-enabled endpoint protection.

Experts recommend zero-trust principles to combat ransomware threats. As reported by OpenGov Asia, in the light of many cyberattacks, the U.S. government has resorted to zero-trust security, a model that assumes all traffic on a network could be a threat and requires every user to be authenticated and authorised before being granted access to any sensitive application or data.

While zero-trust security doesn’t protect networks from every possible attack, it reduces risk, speeds up threat detection and closes gaps in visibility. It is tailor-made for a world where cloud computing and an ever-increasing number of mobile devices are increasing the network attack surface and demanding finer-grain security controls.

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Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,800 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service. For more information, visit www.ibm.com