Cyberattacks against healthcare organizations, the most feared by the sector
- The cybersecurity company has pointed out that on some occasions in this type of attack it has had to coordinate with healthcare personnel to intervene on life support machines in use in an ICU.
The Valencian company S2 Grupo, specialized in cybersecurity and critical systems management, has highlighted that the management of cyber-protection of healthcare organizations is one of the major challenges of the sector in 2021.
In fact, company experts have highlighted that cyberattacks against healthcare organizations are among the most "feared" by cybersecurity experts because patient safety can be put at risk.
“In these types of incidents, it may even be necessary to coordinate with healthcare personnel interventions on life support machines in use in an ICU, for example. This makes it really stressful because people's lives can be put at risk. Establishing strong cybersecurity protocols in hospitals is essential at this time”, said Rafael Rosell, sales director of S2 Grupo.
In relation to the practices that a healthcare center must implement to face a cyberattack, Rafael Rosell has indicated that cybersecurity is a continuous process, a set of projects that should be part of a Security Master Plan to be implemented over time.
In addition, the figure of a CISO or an external security technical office is key, to prioritize initiatives according to the organization's risks. “One of the key points to continuously maintain security is the creation or contracting of the service of a SOC, a security operations center, specialized in health. Unfortunately, current cyberattacks are not exclusively focused on information systems, they also affect, on many occasions, the medical equipment of a health infrastructure. This makes it necessary to deploy specific cyber-surveillance systems for the sector”, explained Mr. Rosell.
What to do in the event of a cyber-attack on a health center?
"The first thing we must do is be prepared to suffer a cyber incident by adopting the appropriate prevention and business continuity measures," said Rafael Rosell.
Along with this, S2 Grupo has emphasized that, despite being prepared and protected, it is important to work with the hypothesis that the cyberattack is going to occur in order to be prepared in all contexts.
“If this happens, the first thing we must do is convene a crisis cabinet and put ourselves in the hands of a specialist cybersecurity incident management team. It is very important, in order to be able to respond adequately both legally and technically, that specialists in cybersecurity incident management, not in technology, and if possible with experience in healthcare environments, participate in the first moments of the cyber incident. If we do this, we will be able to respond with the maximum guarantees to the incident”, he assured.
Given the current context of cybersecurity in the healthcare field, S2 Grupo has pointed out that it is very important to take into consideration 3 issues. The first is that no one is free from suffering a cyberattack. The second is to bear in mind that the preparation to respond to the cyber-incident is key (if we do not have a recent backup, for example, it is very difficult for the incident to be resolved satisfactorily); and the third is that criminals should never be paid because, in addition to being a crime, if you pay, you enter the list of "paying customers" and may be the guarantee of suffering the next incident.