News | Cybersecurity | October 31, 2016

Healthcare Industry Lacking in Basic Cybersecurity Awareness Among Staff

New healthcare cybersecurity report exposes risk of attacks through social engineering, highlights vulnerability of industry

cybersecurity, healthcare industry, SecurityScorecard report, social engineering, cyberattacks

October 31, 2016 — SecurityScorecard, a security rating and continuous risk monitoring platform, released its 2016 Healthcare Industry Cybersecurity Report in October. The report is a comprehensive analysis exposing alarming cybersecurity vulnerabilities across 700 healthcare organizations including medical treatment facilities, health insurance agencies and healthcare manufacturing companies. Security breaches in this industry pose devastating consequences, according to the company, because they can render an entire system or network inoperable, creating a life or death situation that needs immediate attention.

Among all industries, healthcare ranks 15th out of 18 in Social Engineering, suggesting a security awareness problem among healthcare professionals, putting millions of patients at risk.  The Verizon Data Breach Report ranks Social Engineering as the third most common cause for breaches, a number that is rising at the same rate as Hacking and Malware.

"The low Social Engineering scores among a multitude of healthcare organizations show that security awareness and employee training are likely not sufficient," said Alex Heid, chief research officer at SecurityScorecard. "Security is only as strong as the weakest link, and employees are often the lowest-hanging fruit when it comes to phishing, spear phishing and other social engineering attacks. For a hacker, it only takes one piece of information such as learning the email structure of an organization to exploit an employee into divulging sensitive information or providing an access point into that organization's network."

Another risk is the array of devices with wireless capabilities such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices, wireless medical devices and tablets, which have paved the way for medical advances benefiting hospitals and patients. However, their speedy delivery and implementation has resulted in subpar security setups.

"As long as these IoT devices are manufactured with poor security standards, the vulnerability doesn't only lie within the devices themselves, but they also pose a risk to any hospital, treatment center or individual using the device. If a connected device is hacked into, the device can be forced to malfunction or it can be used as a pathway to reach an organization's primary network," continued Heid.

Among the report's key findings are:

  • Over 75 percent of the entire healthcare industry has been infected with malware over the last year;
  • Ninety-six percent of all ransomware targeted medical treatment centers;
  • Healthcare manufacturing nearly reaches a 90 percent malware infection rate;
  • Sixty-three percent of the 27 biggest U.S. hospitals have a C or lower in Patching Cadence, which measures an organization's ability to implement security software patches in a timely fashion;
  • Healthcare has the fifth highest count of ransomware among all industries;
  • Over 50 percent of the healthcare industry has a Network Security score of a C or lower; and
  • Past-breached healthcare companies still have 242 percent as many low scores in Social Engineering compared to non-breached companies

Ransomware and breaches are affecting the healthcare industry at an increasingly alarming rate, according to the report, with 22 major public breaches occurring since August 2015. Earlier this year, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center paid $17,000 as a result of ransomware after losing access to patient records for 10 days. In March 2016, 21st Century Oncology struggling with DNS Health, Network Security and Patching Cadence suffered a data breach that led to a loss of 2.2M patient records and a $57M class-action lawsuit. Overall, breached healthcare companies still struggle with security post-breach, according to the report.

 

Related Healthcare Cybersecurity Content:

Raising the Bar for Medical Device Cyber Security

Market Report Calls Into Question St. Jude Medical EP Device Safety, Cybersecurity

FDA Harshly Criticizes Abbott, St. Jude For Failure to Address EP Device Safety

Healthcare 2015 Data Breaches - Why the Cloud Is Not Responsible

HIMSS: Two-Thirds of Healthcare Organizations Experienced a Recent, Significant Security Incident

How You Should – and Should Not – Be Sharing Medical Information With Patients

How Can Doctors Practice Better Security?

 

For more information: www.securityscorecard.com

Related Content

HHS Unveils Improved Web Tool to Highlight Recent Health Information Breaches
News | Cybersecurity| August 21, 2017
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently launched a revised web...
Healthcare cybersecurity concerns have increased dramatically as EMRs and medical devices become more digitally connected.

Healthcare cybersecurity concerns have increased dramatically as EMRs and medical devices become more digitally connected.

Feature | Cybersecurity| August 18, 2017 | Dave Fornell
August 17, 2017 — Cybersecurity has become a growing concern in healthcare as patient data, medical systems and impla
Houston Methodist Hospital Enters Multi-Year Technology and Research Agreement With Siemens Healthineers
News | Cardiac Imaging| August 17, 2017
Houston Methodist Hospital and Siemens Healthineers have entered into a multi-year agreement to bring cutting-edge...
ScImage Awarded U.S. Government DIN-PACS IV Contract
News | PACS| August 16, 2017
ScImage Inc. was recently awarded a new DIN-PACS IV (Digital Imaging Network/Picture Archiving and Communications...
The FDA is concerned about cybersecurity of ICDs and cyber security of other medical devices.
Feature | Cybersecurity| August 16, 2017 | Dave Fornell
There is growing concern among patients and regulators that medical devices, especially implantable electrophysiology
CMS considers eliminating cardiac bundled payments.
Feature | Business| August 16, 2017 | Dave Fornell
August 16, 2017 — The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a proposed rule to reduce the number
CMS is considering eliminating or changing bundled payments for cardiac rehabilitation.

CMS considers eliminating or changing bundled payments for cardiac rehabilitation.

News | Business| August 14, 2017 | Dave Fornell
...
Xavier University Announces Healthcare Artificial Intelligence Summit
News | Artificial Intelligence| August 07, 2017
Xavier University has launched the Xavier Center for Artificial Intelligence (AI), a pioneering effort to accelerate...
News | August 04, 2017
To ensure you continue to receive information most critical to your job, please participate in a survey that will tak
Left Atrial Pressure Monitor from Vectorious Medical Technologies Offers New Hope for Heart Failure Patients

On of the top stories in July was the introduction of a left atrial pressure monitor from Vectorious Medical Technologies to prevent heart failure patient hospitalizations or readmissions. Read the article"Left Atrial Pressure Monitor Offers New Hope for Heart Failure Patients."

Feature | August 01, 2017 | Dave Fornell
Aug.
Overlay Init