What is Healthcare Cyber Security?

Cyberattacks against healthcare organizations can impair their ability to provide critical care. Ransomware can encrypt important data and Distributed Denial of Service DDoS attacks can bring critical systems down. According to a recent survey by the Ponemon Institute, over 20% of healthcare organizations have experienced increased patient mortality rates after a cyberattack, and another 57% report that these attacks result in poor patient outcomes.

Healthcare organizations commonly experience significant impacts from cyberattacks. Healthcare organizations have the highest average cost of a data breach, and 1 in 42 healthcare organizations was impacted by ransomware in Q3 2022.

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What is Healthcare Cyber Security?

Why the Healthcare Industry is a Target for Cyberattacks

Healthcare organizations are prime targets for cybercriminals for a few different reasons. One is that these companies have access to extremely sensitive and valuable data, including patient health records and payment card data. An attacker with access to this data can sell it at a premium or encrypt it and demand a ransom for its release.

Healthcare organizations also commonly struggle to secure their increasingly complex IT environments. Healthcare organizations and their patients rely on a growing number of networked devices, providing attackers with numerous potential avenues for attack.

Challenges of Healthcare Cybersecurity

Healthcare organizations face various challenges when attempting to protect their systems and their patients’ data against cybersecurity threats. Some of the primary cybersecurity challenges that healthcare organizations contend with include the following:

  • Complex Infrastructure: Healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics, labs, and other medical environments offer a broad and complex attack surface. These facilities include networks, cloud infrastructure, desktop, and mobile endpoints, as well as network-connected IoT devices. The latter are sensor-driven medical devices that track and monitor in real-time; most are not designed with security in mind.
  • Access Management: Healthcare’s fluid environments also introduce complex layers of user types and access privilege levels that can make sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) and other medical data ripe for cyber thieves. The emergence of breaches initiated by nation-state-sponsored cyber gangs can select specific targets to damage reputations.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Healthcare organizations have access to highly sensitive data that must be appropriately protected. Healthcare cybersecurity programs must be Health Insurance Portability and Accessibility Act (HIPAA) compliant.

How Healthcare Organizations Can Protect Themselves

Securing healthcare organizations against cyber threats requires deploying security solutions designed to meet the unique needs of the various components of their complex infrastructure. Vital security capabilities include:

  • Internet of Things (IoT): Healthcare organizations are increasingly dependent on Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) devices to perform scans and offer critical care. Like other IoT devices, these solutions commonly have weak security and access to very sensitive data, making IoT-focused security essential.
  • Cloud: Many healthcare organizations are adopting cloud-based infrastructure for data storage and application hosting. According to a Ponemon survey, cloud compromise was one of the four most common types of cyberattacks that healthcare organizations face.
  • Endpoint: Healthcare organizations commonly have a variety of endpoints, often including legacy systems with unpatched vulnerabilities. Endpoint security solutions can help to identify and prevent attacks against these devices exploiting these vulnerabilities.
  • Mobile: Mobile devices provide patients and healthcare providers with convenient access to medical data. On-device security is essential to ensuring that malicious apps can’t access sensitive data on mobile devices.

The Need for Comprehensive Cybersecurity Solutions for Healthcare

Healthcare organizations have complex environments, and a variety of solutions are needed to defend them properly against cyber threats. However, deploying a variety of point security solutions to address these needs can result in a complex and unusable security architecture. Additionally, these disconnected solutions increase the probability of redundant functionality and visibility and security gaps.

A consolidated security architecture is essential to effectively and scalably preventing cyberattacks against healthcare organizations. By centralizing security monitoring and management in a single solution, consolidated security enhances security teams’ ability to manage their security architecture and address potential threats.

Securing Healthcare with Check Point Infinity ELA

Check Point Infinity architecture provides healthcare organizations with consolidated security designed to protect against zero-day and fifth-generation cyber threats. Check Point Threat Cloud is a global threat intelligence platform that provides Check Point Infinity with real-time information regarding emerging threats and vulnerabilities.

For healthcare organizations looking to simplify their security architecture, Check Point Infinity ELA provides access to Check Point’s full security product suite under a single enterprise license. Learn more about how Check Point healthcare-focused security solutions help organizations to defend against cyber threats in this healthcare CISO talk on Preventing Cyber Attacks from Spreading.


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