Virta Labs Blog


Don't Let Ransomware Be The JBoss Of You

Posted by Michael Holt on May 3, 2016 8:15:00 AM

Ransomware is just the tip of the iceberg.

As we roll out BlueFlow™, we wanted to take some time to share two quick graphics with you that we've used to help us frame our conversations with healthcare delivery organizations (HDOs).

MAP: where are Breaches occurring?

They're widespread, with no apparent pattern.

It doesn't take a cartographer to decipher that the attacks are a nationwide problem. And we only expect the numbers to increase across the country.  

HIMSS reports that as many as 75% of hospitals could have been infected by ransomware in the last year—and many may not even know it.

Ransomware is just a symptom of other risks

It is important to note that ransomware is a symptom, not a root cause of security problems. That's why it's important to safely scan your healthcare infrastructure for vulnerabilities. And why we've built BlueFlow™ to help HDOs improve the cybersecurity posture of their networks and devices without disrupting clinical operations.

CHART: HOW many breaches have occured?

More frequent and larger breaches occur each year.

The second interactive chart shows the number of records affected by IT-specific hospital breaches since 2011, per the United States Department of Health and Human Services' 2015 breach report.  

Two major breaches in 2015, Anthem and Premera Blue Cross, accounted for some of the largest hospital hacks to date.

Anthem's breach involved nearly 80 million current and former customers, and reportedly wasn't covered by their $100 million insurance policy.  The Premera Blue Cross breach compromised nearly 11 million users.  Together, that accounts for about a quarter of the population of the United States.  

As the frequency of breaches increases, we suspect that attackers will become more sophisticated, and will continue with record-setting breaches.  For instance, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that if ransomware can transmit cryptographic keys back to a command and control server, it could just as easily transmit PHI to the command and control server.  Luckily, OCR provides a get-out-of-jail-free card when covered entities can demonstrate low probability of PHI compromise with an appropriate risk assessment. How are you continuously assessing risk of PHI disclosure from ransomware?

Stay ahead of the adversary. Use BlueFlow™, the only vulnerability manager custom built for healthcare infrastructure. BlueFlow™ integrates with popular vulnerability scanning tools to defend healthcare infrastructure and integrate smoothly with clinical workflow.

  • Stay current: Process and prioritize actionable information from data feeds including FDA
  • Scan right: Customize your scans to minimize disruptions to clinical workflow
  • Act fearlessly: Safely monitor medical devices, even those ancient XP boxes and machines prone to spontaneous reboots
  • Share smartly: Create executive reports and visuals of cybersecurity risk for your Board
  • Stay vigilant: Spot problems quickly as threats and misconfigurations arise

If you're a security professional looking for some help, get in touch (CLICK HERE).

Topics: Healthcare Cybersecurity, Ransomware, Medical Device Security, Breaches, Network Assets, Enterprise Security, Network Security, Network Scanning, Inventory Discovery, Vulnerability Management, Downtime