Australian hospitals are under constant cyber attack. The consequences could be deadly
Last week, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) issued warnings to Australian health-care providers that it had observed an increase in cyber incidents targeting the sector. These attacks seem to be aimed at infiltrating networks and burrowing deep into their infrastructure before deploying further attacks. The ACS found around 5 per cent of its infections were related with such activity. “While some components may contain compromised or suspicious software – usually a simple toolkit used for online banking,” read one warning dated March 21. It also warned patients about two additional vulnerabilities affecting consumer laptops: Remote Code Execution by default during system boot and unauthenticated access after user logon.”
Attacks against the health-care sector are dangerous at any time. But when services are under pressure from COVID-19, and information-sharing (including tools such as contact tracing) is increasingly important, an all-out cyber attack against the health sector could be very damaging. I propose some ideas for how to reduce or eliminate these threats in terms of cost and security: First I’ll say that a great deal more coordination will require cooperation among medical providers; between insurers (since it would make matters worse); with policy makers/governments themselves – perhaps through agreements about reimbursement plans which do not include measures like electronic healthcare records collection requirements). Also there needs need to have greater collaboration by governments around public insurance programs–the basic components aren’t working well enough today without coordinated efforts on this issue where they don’st exist yet.
Cyber criminals are usually motivated by profit. Ransomware attacks work because individuals within organisations make mistakes. When combined, there is a strong motivation for criminals to continue these actions and for organisations (and us) to continue to pay to clean up the mess that’s left behind. We must ensure we have our systems in place now so ransomware can’t attack again before it becomes more prevalent. This could be just what you need ‒ or not at all. Many organizations already share information with each other about their cyber security environments – why would they allow malicious actors such as those being used on BitTorrent use this knowledge? That might seem like an unreasonable notion when working against criminal enterprises but I’ve heard from many clients who believe using personalised data sharing allows them better response times while keeping your employees safe should anything go wrong.
Last week, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) issued warnings to Australian health-care providers that it had observed an increase in cyber incidents targeting the sector. These attacks seem to be aimed at infiltrating networks and burrowing deep into their infrastructure before deploying further attacks. The ACS found around 5 per cent of its infections…