Experts Warn Cybersecurity Attacks Can Cripple Healthcare

Experts Warn Cybersecurity Attacks Can Cripple Healthcare

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The healthcare industry needs to wake up and focus on securing its infrastructure.

We have reported on many cyberattacks on various health infrastructures, hospitals, and medical centers this past year. cybersecurity adviser to the White House Kevin Fu says that this growing phenomenon is a wakeup call that for the healthcare industry to act.

Despite recent attacks only impacting online billing and revenue systems, hackers are definitely capable of infiltrating medical devices that provide critical care, and Fu claims that cloud technology is to blame: “I think that because many medical device manufacturers are beginning to integrate cloud services into their products, we can expect outages of entire medical device product lines, if they are not resilient to ransomware and other cyber threats.”

Fu explains that when it comes to possible actions, the health sector must first switch to a proactive stance and abandon “perimeter-based” thinking – a term describing protecting yourself against an intruder through the use of a virtual firewall.

“When you have perimeter-based thinking, you have very ungraceful failures. What you want to do is have a system that is resilient if pieces of software fail,” says Fu.

He presents for example Change Healthcare, which is still dealing with the fallout of last month’s cyberattack – while it resumed providing online billing and revenue services for pharmacies, some of its essential services are still compromised. They even had to create a new website, which indicates the severity and scale of the attack.

Change Healthcare’s situation might take weeks or months to be fully resolved, highlighting the complexity and fragility of the healthcare system. Fu explains that healthcare is just an amazingly complicated set of subsystems, and they’re all interconnected. That’s why recovery is so complicated and takes so long.

This information was provided by Techxplore.