Illusive Blog March 12, 2018

Healthcare Data Security Amid Digital Transformation

By Beth Ruck

Digitization and digital transformation in healthcare are delivering amazing advances in everything from diagnostic imaging and patient monitoring to medication safety, insurance claims processing, medical devices, and genetic research. As healthcare organizations reap significant benefits from innovation, they also must protect themselves and their patients from cyber attackers who develop increasingly sophisticated attack tools and methodologies.

The complex ecosystem that connects patients, providers, caregivers, pharmacies, insurers, and researchers creates a huge attack surface. Rapid change adds volatility to complexity. As healthcare systems develop new ways to engage patients, consolidate via acquisitions, and drive IT-based efficiencies, existing cybersecurity gaps are exacerbated and new ones emerge. New cybersecurity approaches are needed for these complex, highly volatile environments.

X-Ray Vision for Cyberthreats

Healthcare organizations continue to invest billions of dollars in security controls to ensure HIPAA compliance (in the U.S.) and patient/data privacy regulations globally. These frameworks provide a cybersecurity foundation, but attackers continue to find ways around them. Traditional security monitoring can see when controls or policies are violated, but were not built to detect attackers that mimic normal user activity.

With a web of deceptions placed on endpoints through the network, deception technology provides the ability to see all the possible paths an attacker can take to reach critical assets—including connections you don’t know about—and detect actual attackers in real time as they try to progress along those paths. This attack surface visibility adjusts readily as the environment faces continuous change.

For healthcare organizations, deception capabilities can be applied to many areas of cyber risk. First and foremost, it can provide a missing dimension in patient data protection programs. Second, despite the scope of innovation throughout healthcare organizations, some of processes still depend on legacy, custom-built, or proprietary systems or devices, such as mainframes, that for whatever reason cannot be outfitted with proper software agents or security controls. Although these systems may not tolerate configuration changes, deception technology enables security teams to see and derail attackers that are targeting these assets.

Also, the same deception technology that delivers visibility into lateral movement can provide the agility to automatically respond and adapt to infrastructure changes. There is growing awareness of the need to attend to cybersecurity issues during M&A due diligence, but also important is the integration stage when the IT environment must quickly absorb new systems and users. Putting in place an automatically adaptive web of deceptions ensures that advanced attackers that might be hidden in an acquired entity’s infrastructure are not acquired, too.

For more information on how deception technology can significantly reduce business risk by protecting  patient data and critical IT assets, minimizing security gaps associating with change, and adapt defenses automatically for continuous
protection, download the white paper: {{cta(‘b3da2231-aa93-4825-9a48-dcb6c3acfc15’)}}.