3 steps to securing healthcare networks

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3 steps to securing healthcare networks

3 steps to securing healthcare networks

Geopolitical uncertainty has dramatically increased the chances that healthcare organizations will experience more security attacks in the next couple of years. Specifically, SecOps teams need to prepare for even more ransomware attacks to extort money along with “lights out attacks” designed to cripple day-to-day operations.

The last two years have proven that the statement, “No one would want to hurt a hospital or healthcare clinic,” is a false narrative. Cyberattacks against network servers in the healthcare sector rose 35% in 2020 and another 53% in 2021, according to Fortified Health Security reports. Bad actors are ensuring that healthcare organizations either spend now on security defenses or pay later for ransoms, fines and lawsuits.

You can start the process with a three-point plan focused on prevention, detection and vigilance. Here are some focused recommendations from this three-point plan:

Deploy an inline security solution to reduce as many vulnerabilities within the network as possible

Inline security solutions are a high-impact technique that can address security threats, especially ransomware targeting healthcare networks. These solutions can eliminate 90% or more of incoming security threats before they even enter your network. An inline security solution includes both security appliances (like an intrusion prevention system (IPS), web application firewalls (WAF), TLS 1.3 decryption, etc.) and infrastructure components like external bypass switches and network packet brokers to access and deliver complete data visibility. This allows for the examination of ALL suspect data entering the network.

Hunt down intrusions to find and quickly remediate intrusions that are discovered in the network

Unfortunately, inline solutions cannot prevent everything. This is why you need a second level of defense that helps you actively search for threats. This part of the plan uses taps and network packet brokers to capture relevant packet data and then feed that data to purpose-built threat hunting tools to proactively look for indicators of compromise (IOC) within network components and the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) devices.

Periodically test your defenses with breach and attack simulation (BAS) to make sure they detect and block threats.

The third level of defense is to periodically validate that your security architecture is working as designed. This means using a BAS solution to safely check your defenses against real-world threats to find any holes before hackers find them for you.

Expect the Unexpected
A focus on cyber resiliency is key to your success. Once a cyberattack or breach has been launched, you need to stop the threat. However, it is just as important to get back to normal operations as fast as possible to maintain business continuity and satisfy patient needs. The key to making cyber resiliency work safely is to engineer your security architecture with self-healing capabilities from the start.

Read more: 3 steps to securing healthcare networks

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