Category: Healthcare

Securing Wireless Infusion Pumps in Healthcare Delivery Organizations

Medical devices, such as infusion pumps, were once standalone instruments that interacted only with the patient or medical provider. However, today’s medical devices connect to a variety of healthcare systems, networks, and other tools within a healthcare delivery organization (HDO). Connecting devices to point-of-care medication systems and electronic health records can improve healthcare delivery processes; however, increasing connectivity capabilities also creates cybersecurity risks. Potential threats include unauthorized access to patient health information, changes to prescribed drug doses, and interference with a pump’s function. The NCCoE at NIST analyzed risk factors in and around the infusion pump ecosystem by using a questionnaire-based risk assessment to develop an example implementation that demonstrates how HDOs can use standards-based, commercially available cybersecurity technologies to better protect the infusion pump ecosystem, including patient information and drug library dosing limits. This practice guide will help HDOs implement current cybersecurity standards and best practices to reduce their cybersecurity risk, while maintaining the performance and usability of wireless infusion pumps.

CSRC Update: 

UnityPoint Health Reveals 1.4 Million Patient Breach

UnityPoint Health, a multi-hospital group serving parts of Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin, is alerting 1.4 million patients to the second data breach the company has suffered this year. And it’s not just the second breach; it’s the second breach initiated through a phishing attack.

The most recent breach targeted employee email accounts, which could lead to the compromise of sensitive data. It is possible payment card information was obtained by the attacker(s) as well.

Read more about the UnityPoint Health second breach this year, which is far larger than the first, on DarkReading.

Boys Town Healthcare Data Breach Exposed Personal Details of Patients

Sensitive and personal data of hundreds of thousands of people at Boys Town National Research Hospital have been exposed in what appears to be the largest ever reported breach by a pediatric care provider or children’s hospital.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights, the breach incident affected 105,309 individuals, including patients and employees, at the Omaha-based medical organization.

Read more about the Boys Town data breach, which was discovered by the organization on May 23, 2018, on The Hacker News.

Singapore suffers ‘most serious’ data breach, affecting 1.5M healthcare patients including Prime Minister

Singapore has suffered its “most serious” data breach, compromising personal data of 1.5 million healthcare patients including that of its Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The affected users are patients of SingHealth, which is the country’s largest group of healthcare institutions.

Non-medical personal details of 1.5 million patients who visited SingHealth’s specialist outpatient clinics and polyclinics between May 1, 2015, and July 4, 2018, had been accessed and copied. The stolen data included patients’ name, national identification number, address, gender, race, and date of birth.

Read more about the cyber attack on SingHealth, which the Singaporean government has described as “deliberate, targeted, well-planned”, on ZDNet.

Hackers Breach Network of LabCorp, US’ Biggest Blood Testing Laboratories

LabCorp, the US’ biggest blood testing laboratories network, has announced that hackers breached its IT network over the weekend. “At this time, there is no evidence of unauthorized transfer or misuse of data,” the company said. “LabCorp has notified the relevant authorities of the suspicious activity and will cooperate in any investigation.”

LabCorp did not provide any details about the incident but said it shut down various portions of its systems to contain the intrusion. The hack could be dangerous, because although the company is trying to play down the incident, even the smallest hack affecting this organization has serious repercussions for millions of Americans.

Read more about the LabCorp hack  on BleepingComputer.

Healthcare Organizations Must Strengthen Their Cybersecurity Immunity To Avoid Falling Victim To Cybercriminals

Cybercriminals looking to make a profit are turning their attention towards an industry known for housing sensitive consumer data with weak security protocols: healthcare.

In April of 2018, Utah-based company HealthEquity reported 23,000 accounts were compromised in a data breach when an employee fell for a phishing scheme. The HealthEquity breach is hardly an isolated incident in healthcare. 2017 alone saw the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report an approximate 477 healthcare breaches and the exposure of more than five million patient records.

Read how healthcare organizations can address how employees approach security, and mitigate the risk of a breach by strengthening internal cybersecurity habits, on Information Security Buzz.

1 in 10 healthcare organizations paid a ransom within the last year

More than one in three healthcare organizations have suffered a cyberattack within the last year, while almost one in 10 have paid a ransom or extortion fee, according to Imperva. Healthcare data is extremely valuable on the dark web as it contains highly sensitive data, both financial and protected health information. As a result, healthcare organizations are increasingly attractive to attackers.

Imperva’s survey of 102 Healthcare IT professionals, which was carried out at the 2018 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference, revealed that 77 percent of respondents were very concerned about a cybersecurity event striking their organization and 15 percent admitted that their organization’s ability to handle a cyberattack needed work.

Read more about the findings of the survey by Imperva on Help Net Security.


Rising concerns about managing risk and proving compliance in the medical device industry

Perforce Software released the results of a global survey of medical device professionals. Key findings show increased concerns for mitigating risk and proving compliance during the development process.

“Balancing compliance and risk management with fast-paced innovation is a tough challenge for medical device developers,” said Tim Russell, Chief Product Officer, Perforce. “This year’s survey results illustrate how well respondents are addressing the challenge.” Proving compliance and passing audits is critical in the medical device industry. Just 46 percent of the respondents were confident that they could pass an FDA audit.

Read more about the findings of the new global survey of medical device professionals on Help Net Security.

Healthcare was a top target for ransomware families in 2017

According to Cylance’s 2018 Threat Report, the cyberattacks of the last few years have become more ruthless and sophisticated, and in many cases, reported but unpatched vulnerabilities are to blame. However, ransomware is one of the primary causes for concern, especially with the rise of ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS), which allows anyone to purchase ransomware pre-packed and coded for use against targets without the need for specialized knowledge.

The report, which utilizes data collected from 1 Jan 2016 to 31 December 2017, suggests that WannaCry is amongst the 10 worst threats facing the enterprise in this time period. Healthcare was most impacted by ransomware as an industry in 2016 and 2017. Only two ransomware families out of the ten were not continually linked to attacks against the healthcare industry in recent years.

Read more about the findings of Cylance’s 2018 Threat Report on ZDNet.

Why Hackers Love Healthcare

Much like the rest of the world, healthcare organizations are shifting work to cloud services in order to improve accessibility and patient care. However, the migration of these workloads and moving valuable information such as PHI (personal health information) and PII (personally identifiable information) to the cloud has also led to cybercriminals taking a particular interest in the industry.

The number of ransomware  and other malware attacks is rising incredibly fast in the healthcare industry, putting human lives as well as critical data at risk. From 2011 through 2014, the sector — including hospitals, labs, pharmacies, drug companies and outpatient clinics — experienced the highest number of data breaches of all industries.

Read what makes healthcare organizations such a popular target for cyber criminals on DarkReading.