Healthcare remains a primary target for cybercrime. It’s not a matter of if you’ll be attacked, but when, so the best approach to security is a proactive one.
Traditional security tools used over the last 15 years such as signature-based antivirus and perimeter firewalls are ineffective in dealing with multi-faceted advanced persistent threat (APT) campaigns. The APT’s objective is to evade defenses and gather as much information about the environment as possible, allowing threat actors to maximize their impact.
Here are 6 things healthcare organizations can do to protect themselves.
- Many breaches occur on desktops, laptops, and mobile devices, so using endpoint detection and response (EDR) technologies protects the endpoint before the breach occurs. EDR works in conjunction with security information and event management (SIEM) technologies that analyze, detect, and alert IT departments about potential threats. These tools must be managed by a 24×7 security operations center and a qualified 24×7 incident response team to detect lateral movement and ensure anomalies on the network are found and stopped as quickly as possible.
- Use the principle of least privilege for user access as well as administrative access. This minimizes the number of users with elevated privileges, which also minimizes the number of potential APT targets, making it more difficult for threat actors to gain elevated access to an environment.
- Apply traffic monitoring tools to detect any suspicious flows or anomalies. Monitoring and detecting suspicious flows prevents exfiltration or data loss before it occurs.
- Utilize multi-factor authentication (MFA) to make it difficult for hackers and threat actors to compromise a system. Even if they obtain or guess a password, MFA adds another layer of protection to prevent an account from becoming compromised. Using MFA can also help you meet industry compliance requirements such as HIPAA.
- Ensure up-to-date security patching. This foundational security practice ensures all systems have software vendors’ latest security patches. A vigilant approach to patching minimizes the chances of an APT exploiting vulnerabilities in operating systems and applications.
- Conduct regular security awareness training (SAT) to keep security at the top of mind for employees so they don’t easily fall prey to targeted phishing campaigns or social engineering. It is one of the easiest steps any organization can take to protect themselves from APT attacks.
Finally, if an incident occurs – when every second counts to limit damage and restore vital services – it is critical to have an incident response plan in place. Many victims of cybercrime are left scrambling to figure out what to do when they find ransomware or discover their data has been compromised. If that is the first time your security vendors interact, that can cause expensive delays and additional losses.
The best approach to security is a proactive one. That’s why Med Tech Solutions offers a comprehensive security platform that protects and prepares your organization, giving you—and your patients—confidence and peace of mind. Contact us today!