Survey: Cybersecurity Getting More Attention at the C-Suite and Board Level | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Survey: Cybersecurity Getting More Attention at the C-Suite and Board Level

February 21, 2017
by Heather Landi
| Reprints

Cybersecurity has been elevated to a central concern for healthcare providers, with more attention at the board level and the C-suite, according to a new survey by Orem, Utah-based KLAS Research and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). The study found that 42 percent of organizations have a vice president or C-level official in charge of cybersecurity and for 39 percent of organizations, the head of cybersecurity is at the director level.

The survey finding also indicate that cybersecurity issues are increasingly making it to the board level as 62 percent of respondents report that security is discussed quarterly at board meetings.

The 271-page report, titled “Cybersecurity 2017: Understanding the Healthcare Security Landscape,” studies profiled provider adoption of and experiences regarding specific cybersecurity solutions, including data loss prevention (DLP), identity and access management (IAM), mobile device management (MDM), and security information and event management (SIEM).

In partnership with CHIME, KLAS conducted nearly 200 interviews of chief information security officers, CIOs, chief technology officers and other security professionals. To cover the largest number of impacted providers and patients, the research targeted mainly larger multihospital organizations (IDNs) and hospitals, with some additional input from large physician practices (75+ physicians), according to KLAS.

The study found that 16 percent of providers—mostly large hospitals or integrated delivery networks—reported having “fully functional” security programs. Another 41 percent reported that they’ve developed and are starting to implement a program. However, close to half of respondents (43 percent) reported that their organization’s security program was either “developing” or “not developed.” Smaller hospitals and physician practices lagged behind in their program development.

Eighteen percent of survey respondents reported that 7 percent or greater of their total IT budget was dedicated to security while 14 percent of respondents said spending on security made up about 5 to 6 percent of their IT budget. The largest segment, 41 percent of respondents, reported dedicating 3 percent or less of their IT budget to security, while 27 percent placed their security spending at between 3 to 4 percent of their total IT budget.

Additionally, when asked to gauge their breach readiness level, close to 80 percent of respondents reported their organization had a cyber liability and breach insurance in place and 72 percent reported they had a breach policy and playbook created while 67 percent reported they had a breach incident team created. Six percent said they didn’t know their breach readiness level.

Other key findings of the study included:

  • 55 percent of respondents reported that encryption is the most common way of securing connected endpoints on their networks, followed by antivirus/malware systems at 42 percent and mobile device management (MDM) at 33 percent
  • 63 percent of respondents reported that security information and event management (SIEM) is the most common method for detecting phishing and ransomware attacks followed by Intrusion Detection (26 percent) and end-user reporting (15 percent)
  • 39 percent of respondents reported that an incident-response plan/policy is the most common method for responding to attacks, followed by incident-response teams (34 percent) and then services firm/insurance (20 percent)
  • 75 percent of respondents reported that they are following the National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework; 31 percent are following HITRUST
  • 84 percent of organizations are using training to ensure employees understand and follow security policies
  • 76 percent of organizations do external risk assessments on at least an annual basis

 

“Healthcare organizations take their responsibility for protecting patient information and their data networks very seriously,” CHIME president and CEO Russell Branzell said in a statement. “As healthcare continues to march toward greater integration and information sharing across the continuum, we must become more vigilant in protecting data networks. Security has to be seen as an organizational priority. It is encouraging to see more C-level executives and boards taking greater responsibility for the issue.”

“Providers are embracing cybersecurity and report that vendor solutions are becoming more robust and responsive to provider’s needs,” Garrett Hall, director of cybersecurity for KLAS, said in a prepared statement. “However, cybersecurity remains a significant challenge for many providers, and the healthcare industry as a whole.”

 

The Health IT Summits gather 250+ healthcare leaders in cities across the U.S. to present important new insights, collaborate on ideas, and to have a little fun - Find a Summit Near You!


/news-item/cybersecurity/survey-cybersecurity-getting-more-attention-c-suite-and-board-level
/news-item/cybersecurity/eye-center-california-switches-ehr-vendor-following-ransomware-incident

Eye Center in California Switches EHR Vendor Following Ransomware Incident

December 11, 2018
by Rajiv Leventhal, Managing Editor
| Reprints

Redwood Eye Center, an ophthalmology practice in Vallejo, Calif., has notified more than 16,000 patients that its EHR (electronic health record) hosting vendor experienced a ransomware attack in September.

In the notification to the impacted patients, the center’s officials explained that the third-party vendor that hosts and stores Redwood’s electronic patient records, Illinois-based IT Lighthouse, experienced a data security incident which affected records pertaining to Redwood patients. Officials also said that IT Lighthouse hired a computer forensics company to help them after the ransomware attack, and Redwood worked with the vendor to restore access to our patient information.

Redwood’s investigation determined that the incident may have involved patient information, including patient names, addresses, dates of birth, health insurance information, and medical treatment information.

Notably, Redwood will be changing its EMR hosting vendor, according to its officials. Per the notice, “Redwood has taken affirmative steps to prevent a similar situation from arising in the future. These steps include changing medical records hosting vendors and enhancing the security of patient information.”

Ransomware attacks in the healthcare sector continue to be a problem, but at the same time, they have diminished substantially compared to the same time period last year, as cyber attackers move on to more profitable activities, such as cryptojacking, according to a recent report from cybersecurity firm Cryptonite.

More From Healthcare Informatics

/news-item/cybersecurity/report-30-percent-healthcare-databases-exposed-online

Report: 30 Percent of Healthcare Databases Exposed Online

December 10, 2018
by Heather Landi, Associate Editor
| Reprints

Hackers are using the Dark Web to buy and sell personally identifiable information (PII) stolen from healthcare organizations, and exposed databases are a vulnerable attack surface for healthcare organizations, according to a new cybersecurity research report.

A research report from IntSights, “Chronic [Cyber] Pain: Exposed & Misconfigured Databases in the Healthcare Industry,” gives an account of how hackers are tracking down healthcare personally identifiable information (PII) data on the Dark Web and where in the attack surface healthcare organizations are most vulnerable.

The report explores a key area of the healthcare attack surface, which is often the easiest to avoid—exposed databases. It’s not only old or outdated databases that get breached, but also newly established platforms that are vulnerable due to misconfiguration and/or open access, the report authors note.

Healthcare organizations have been increasingly targeted by threat actors over the past few years and their most sought-after asset is their data. As healthcare organizations attempt to move data online and increase accessibility for authorized users, they’ve dramatically increased their attack surface, providing cybercriminals with new vectors to steal personally identifiable information (PII), according to the report. Yet, these organizations have not prioritized investments in cybersecurity tools or procedures.

Healthcare budgets are tight, the report authors note, and if there’s an opportunity to purchase a new MRI machine versus make a new IT or cybersecurity hire, the new MRI machine often wins out. Healthcare organizations need to carefully balance accessibility and protection.

In this report, cyber researchers set out to show that the healthcare industry as a whole is vulnerable, not due to a specific product or system, but due to lack of process, training and cybersecurity best practices. “While many other industries suffer from similar deficiencies, healthcare organizations are particularly at risk because of the sensitivity of PII and medical data,” the report states.

The researchers chose a couple of popular technologies for handling medical records, including known and widely used commercial databases, legacy services still in use today, and new sites or protocols that try to mitigate some of the vulnerabilities of past methods. The purpose of the research was to demonstrate that hackers can easily find access to sensitive data in each state: at rest, in transit or in use.

The researchers note that the tactics used were pretty simple: Google searches, reading technical documentation of the aforementioned technologies, subdomain enumeration, and some educated guessing about the combination of sites, systems and data. “All of the examples presented here were freely accessible, and required no intrusive methods to obtain. Simply knowing where to look (like the IP address, name or protocol of the service used) was often enough to access the data,” the report authors wrote.

The researchers spent 90 hours researching and evaluated 50 database. Among the findings outlined in the report, 15 databases were found exposed, so the researchers estimate about 30 percent of databases are exposed. The researchers found 1.5 million patient records exposed, at a rate of about 16,687 medical records discovered per hour.

The estimated black-market price per medical record is $1 per record. The researchers concluded that hackers can find a large number of records in just a few hours of work, and this data can be used to make money in a variety of ways. If a hacker can find records at a rate of 16,687 per hour and works 40 hours a week, that hacker can make an annual salary of $33 million, according to the researchers.

“It’s also important to note that PII and medical data is harder to make money with compared to other data, like credit card info. Cybercriminals tend to be lazy, and it’s much quicker to try using a stolen credit card to make a fraudulent purchase than to buy PII data and run a phishing or extortion campaign. This may lessen the value of PII data in the eyes of some cybercriminals; however, PII data has a longer shelf-life and can be used for more sophisticated and more successful campaigns,” IntSights security researcher and report author Ariel Ainhoren wrote.

The researchers used an example of hospital using a FTP server. “FTP is a very old and known way to share files across the Internet. It is also a scarcely protected protocol that has no encryption built in, and only asks you for a username and password combination, which can be brute forced or sniffed

by network scanners very easily,” Ainhoren wrote. “Here we found a hospital in the U.S. that has its FTP server exposed. FTP’s usually hold records and backup data, and are kept open to enable backup to a remote site. It could be a neglected backup procedure left open by IT that the hospital doesn’t even know exists.”

According to the report, hackers have three main motivations for targeting healthcare organizations and medical data:

  • State-Sponsored APTs Targeting Critical Infrastructure: APTs are more sophisticated and are usually more difficult to stop. They will attempt to infiltrate a network to test tools and techniques to set the stage for a larger, future attack, or to obtain information on a specific individual’s medical condition.
  • Attackers Seeking Personal Data: Attackers seeking personal data can use it in multiple ways. They can create and sell PII lists, they can blackmail individuals or organizations in exchange for the data, or they can use it as a basis for further fraud, like phishing, Smishing, or scam calls.
  • Attackers Taking Control of Medical Devices for Ransom: Attackers targeting vulnerable infrastructure won’t usually target healthcare databases, but will target medical IT equipment and infrastructure to spread malware that exploits specific vulnerabilities and demands a ransom to release the infected devices. Since medical devices tend to be updated infrequently (or not at all), this provides a relatively easy target for hackers to take control.

The report also offers a few general best practices for evaluating if a healthcare organization’s data is exposed and/or at risk:

  • Use Multi-Factor Authentication for Web Applications: If you’re using a system that only needs a username and password to login, you’re making it significantly easier to access. Make sure you have MFA setup to reduce unauthorized access.
  • Tighter Access Control to Resources: Limit the number of credentials to each party accessing the database. Additionally, limit specific parties’ access to only the information they need. This will minimize your chance of being exploited through a 3rd party, and if you are, will limit the damage of that breach.
  • Monitor for Big or Unusual Database Reads: These may be an indication that a hacker or unauthorized party is stealing information. It’s a good idea to setup limits on database reads and make sure requests for big database reads involve some sort of manual review or confirmation.
  • Limit Database Access to Specific IP Ranges: Mapping out the organizations that need access to your data is not an easy task. But it will give you tighter control on who’s accessing your data and enable you to track and identify anomalous activity. You can even tie specific credentials to specific IP ranges to further limit access and track strange behavior more closely.

 

Related Insights For: Cybersecurity

/news-item/cybersecurity/twelve-states-file-first-multistate-healthcare-data-breach-lawsuit

Twelve States File First Multistate Healthcare Data Breach Lawsuit

December 5, 2018
by Heather Landi, Associate Editor
| Reprints

State Attorneys General from a dozen states filed a lawsuit Monday against several health IT companies, and their subsidiaries, alleging that poor security practices led to theft of protected health information (PHI) of 3.9 million individuals during a data security incident in 2015.

The 66-page complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, names four companies or subsidiaries, including Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Medical Informatics Engineering and NoMoreClipboard LLC. In the lawsuit, the state AGs allege that the companies failed to take “adequate and reasonable measures” to ensure their computer systems were protected.

Over several weeks in May, hackers infiltrated and accessed the “inadequately protected computer systems” of the companies and were able to access and exfiltrate the electronic PHI of 3.9 million individuals, whose PHI was contained in an electronic medical record stores in the companies’ computer systems. The personal information obtained by the hackers included names, addresses and Social Security numbers, as well health information such as lab results, health insurance policy information, diagnosis and medical conditions.

The lawsuit marks the first time state Attorneys General have joined together to pursue a HIPAA-related (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) multistate data breach case in federal court, according to the Arizona Attorney General’s office. The lawsuit was filed by attorneys general from Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina and Wisconsin.

According to a media report from azcentral.com, Arizonians were among those affected when hackers infiltrated WebChart, a web application operated by Indiana-based Medical Informatics Engineering Inc. and NoMoreClipboard (collectively known as MIE).

The 12 state AGs allege that the companies “failed to take reasonably available steps to prevent the breaches,” and “failed to disclose material facts regarding the inadequacy of their computer systems and security procedures to properly safeguard patients’ PHI, failed to honor their promises and representations that patients’ PHI would be protected, and failed to provide timely and adequate notice of the incident, which caused significant harm to consumers across the U.S,” according to the complaint.

Further, the companies’ actions resulted in the violation of the state consumer protection, data breach, personal information protection laws and federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) statutes, the lawsuit states.

In July 2015, MIE issued a statement acknowledging the data breach, classifying it as a “data security compromise that has affected the security of some personal and protected health information relating to certain clients and individuals who have used a Medical Informatics Engineering electronic health record.” The company also referred to it as a “sophisticated cyber attack.”

The company said that on May 26, 2015 it discovered suspicious activity in one of its servers. “We immediately began an investigation to identify and remediate any identified security vulnerability. Our first priority was to safeguard the security of personal and protected health information, and we have been working with a team of third-party experts to investigate the attack and enhance data security and protection. This investigation is ongoing. On May 26, 2015, we also reported this incident to law enforcement including the FBI Cyber Squad. Law enforcement is actively investigating this matter, and we are cooperating fully with law enforcement's investigation. The investigation indicates this is a sophisticated cyber attack. Our forensic investigation indicates the unauthorized access to our network began on May 7, 2015. Our monitoring systems helped us detect this unauthorized access, and we were able to shut down the attackers as they attempted to access client data,” the company said in a statement three years ago.

At the time, the company said it was continuing to take steps to remediate and enhance the security of its systems. “Remedial efforts include removing the capabilities used by the intruder to gain unauthorized access to the affected systems, enhancing and strengthening password rules and storage mechanisms, increased active monitoring of the affected systems, and intelligence exchange with law enforcement. We have also instituted a universal password reset,” the company said.

In a statement, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said the 12 AGs allege MIE is liable because, among other things, “it failed to implement basic industry-accepted data-security measures to protect ePHI from unauthorized access; did not have appropriate security safeguards or controls in place to prevent exploitation of vulnerabilities within its system; had an inadequate and ineffective response to the breach; and failed to encrypt the sensitive personal information and ePHI within its computer systems, despite representations to the contrary in its privacy policy.”

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson said in a news release, “Patients expect health companies to protect the privacy of their electronic health records. This company did not do so.”

The lawsuit says the states are seeking unspecified statutory damages and civil penalties.

See more on Cybersecurity

betebet sohbet hattı betebet bahis siteleringsbahis