Ransomware attacks against healthcare providers are becoming increasingly common. These attacks are proving to be catastrophic for the providers and are effectively bringing down the already strained healthcare systems. Recently, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a joint advisory regarding an increased cybersecurity threat to the U.S. healthcare system. It described the tactics, techniques, and procedures used by cybercriminals to infect the healthcare systems with TrickBot and Ryuk ransomware.
The advisory was released to warn healthcare providers about the potential ransomware attacks that could disrupt their services. They could lead to the cancellation of scheduled surgeries or even transfer of patients to other facilities, thereby affecting patient care. However, becoming compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) can help you tackle these attacks easily.
TrickBot is a modular malware that provides backdoor access and enables operators to conduct a myriad of illegal cyber activities. These activities include credential harvesting, crypto mining, mail exfiltration, point-of-sale data exfiltration as well as the deployment of ransomware such as Ryuk and Conti. Originally known as a banking trojan, TrickBot has now evolved into a multi-purpose malware downloader that is severely disrupting healthcare systems.
TrickBot is disseminated via malicious cyber campaigns that send unsolicited emails or trick users into opening malware through an attachment for financial gains. TrickBot is also dropped as a secondary payload by other malware. The malware authors are continuously releasing new versions and modules of TrickBot that are expanding and refining its capabilities.
One of the newest modules created by TrickBot developers is Anchor_DNS that sends and receives data from victim machines using Domain Name System tunneling. The Anchor_DNS backdoor forces infected systems to communicate with command and control servers over DNS. This helps the attackers evade network defense products and blend malicious communications with legitimate DNS traffic, thereby affecting cybersecurity.
Ryuk ransomware attacks have been on the rise in recent times. This ransomware is extremely dangerous because it is targeted, manual, and often leveraged via a multi-stage attack preceded byTrickBot and Emotet malware. This means that if an organization has Ryuk, it is also infected with several types of malware.
Ryuk actors quickly map the network so as to enumerate the environment and understand the scope of infection. It can be difficult to detect and contain Ryuk as the infection generally happens via spam or phishing campaigns. It can pull passwords out of memory and get access to the entire system, infecting documents, and compromising crucial information.
The growing number of Ryuk cyberattacks has made it inevitable for healthcare organizations to also look after cyber hygiene alongside medical hygiene. Protecting the systems from exposures or mitigating the impact of Ryuk is necessary to ensure patient and provider data safety.
With rising ransomware attacks across the healthcare industry, healthcare organizations have been subjected to growing security incidents. This has led to an increase in system downtimes, financial losses, and has had a huge impact on patient-provider relationships. As a result, developing ransomware prevention strategies has become one of the topmost priorities for healthcare organizations.
Since most of the ransomware attacks originate from phishing emails, much of the prevention hinges on properly educating the staff. Healthcare organizations should make sure that their employees are aware of the techniques attackers use to perpetrate them. Hence, effective training and awareness programs are extremely vital in mitigating the human risks associated with ransomware.
Healthcare organizations will never be able to completely stop the ransomware attacks. To alleviate the impacts of ransomware attacks. So, it is necessary for them to be able to rapidly detect threats and automatically orchestrate security responses. This can play a significant role in preventing the spread of ransomware across the network, thereby reducing its overall impact.
Disruptions caused by ransomware are compelling healthcare organizations to weave resilient measures to counter the impact of cyberattacks. Risk-driven planning, aligning security incident responses, and developing post-disruption strategies are critical elements to achieving resiliency and preventing further disruptions. This can be helpful in maintaining continuity of services even during cyberattacks or other emergencies.
A successful data breach or ransomware attack can be devastating for a healthcare organization. Not only does it compromise the security and privacy of protected health information but also leads to huge financial losses. Having a set of well-defined rules and regulations can make the process of managing ransomware attacks a lot simpler and easier.
Becoming compliant with HIPAA can be extremely helpful in protecting your practice from cyberattacks. It can help you in safeguarding protected health information and ensuring the seamless functioning of healthcare organizations without interruptions.
CS EYE’s can help you become HIPAA compliant in simple steps and make your organization resilient to dangerous ransomware attacks. Becoming HIPAA compliant enables you to prevent malware infections effectively with the following steps:
Conducting Risk Analysis to Identify Potential Threats.
Rapidly Detecting Malware Infections.
Educating Staff About Malicious Software Protection.
Limiting Access to Protected Health Information.
In the case of ransomware attacks or data breaches, being HIPAA compliant also helps in responding to and recovering quickly with the following procedures:
Detecting and Conducting Initial Ransomware Analysis.
Containing Impact and Propagation of Malware.
Restoring Data Lost during Cyberattack
Remediating Vulnerabilities that Caused the Attack.
CS EYE can accelerate the process of becoming HIPAA compliant for you with our online HIPAA compliance platform. This can provide you with effective frameworks to safeguard all your crucial data including protected health information. With cybersecurity and cultural awareness training, CS EYE can help in keeping your organization protected from phishing attacks. Similarly, with security risk assessments, CS EYE can ensure that your organization is resilient to ransomware attacks.
Although managing data breaches or malware infections are extremely difficult, becoming HIPAA compliant can help in protecting your organization from these attacks. CS EYE can help you become compliant with the HIPAA guidelines easily. Contact CS EYE to know how we can make the process of countering ransomware attacks a lot easier for your organization.