Steering Through the Evolving Cyber Threats in Healthcare for 2024

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Insights and Approaches

With the start of 2024, healthcare has a critical call to action regarding cybersecurity. Looking back at the tumultuous cyber landscape of 2023, we can all agree that the frequency and sophistication of cyber attacks against various industries have grown more intense over the years, leaving many in the crosshairs of successful breaches. This particularly holds true for the healthcare sector, which increasingly remains a target for attackers, either to make a quick buck or wreak havoc by impacting patient care and compromising patient safety.

Recap of the 2023 Cyber Threat Landscape

Endless data and health information about patients and digital acceleration in healthcare generally have made it especially susceptible to attacks. For instance, the speed of integration (of IoT devices) and the multiplicity (of health IT system devices with proprietary, semi-proprietary, and non-proprietary standards) expanded their attack surface and raised concerns about potential cyber incidents that could affect patient care.

Checkpoint reported that, in 2023, healthcare was the third most attacked industry in the world, with an average of more than 1,600 attacks per week. Checkpoint showed an 8 percent increase in attacks for the year’s first half. According to IBM, healthcare cyberattacks now cost an unprecedented $10.3 million on average, a 53% increase since 2020. In addition to financial losses, these attacks led to reputational loss, increased patient morbidity and mortality, healthcare system disruption, and sensitive data theft.

2024 Cybersecurity Trends and Predictions for Healthcare

The upcoming year is expected to introduce significant trends in healthcare cybersecurity, including:

The Rise of AI

Emerging threats to the healthcare system, brought on by technological advancement that makes life more digital, magnify the need for sophisticated responses. These include social engineering attacks and the utilization of deepfakes, both of which have been contributing factors to the unprecedented number of business email compromises we have seen over the past couple of years. In 2023, the FBI reported nearly $51 billion in annual losses due to these attempts; the figure is predicted to be even higher in 2024. Strengthening healthcare organizations’ security approaches through establishing comprehensive policies and training, including employee awareness and response programs, is crucial in bolstering defenses. Layer those safeguards with such measures as dual-key authentication and dual-key cell phone authorization, along with greater validation checks, and healthcare delivery entities will likely experience fewer setbacks.

Alongside social engineering, another clear and present danger that the healthcare industry must contemplate stems from the expanding spectrum of AI-based assault. The increased sophistication and automation of such attacks, including malware and spear-phishing campaigns, have spiked after the public launch of ChatGPT in late 2022. For instance, there are instances where malicious campaigns and malware targeted at spreading malicious malware have utilized such platforms, as reported by Moreover, global cybersecurity firm Trend Micro finds that over 90% of successful cyber attacks start with phishing. Considering that healthcare communication involves several domains involving exchanging information and interaction, ranging from patient communication to processing insurance claims, extra vigilance becomes even more crucial when faced with AI as your adversary. At the same time, it is important to emphasize the role of human transactions in healthcare services; there is a need to ensure the balance between such essential communication processes and evolving methods to safeguard sensitive data from cyber threats.

Increased Healthcare Regulations

We have also seen new laws regulating cybersecurity efforts in the healthcare landscape. These highlight the fluid and ever-changing approach to protecting healthcare information systems and patient data. In 2022, Section 3305 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022 was introduced to strengthen medical device cybersecurity, with a date of March 29, 2023, when this went into effect. This was followed on September 26, 2023, by guidance from the FDA on premarket cybersecurity considerations for medical devices. Subsequently, the Health Industry Cybersecurity Practices (HICP) initiative outlined in Section 405(d) of the Cybersecurity Act of 2015 still guides the healthcare sector in strengthening its cybersecurity posture. All these measures are part of an ongoing drive to provide patient data safety and cover the cybersecurity of medical devices.

Financial Pressures on Healthcare Budgets

The financials of healthcare in 2024 continue to be problematic. Rising costs and pressure to find funding dollars make the financial threat of cyber more important. Financial constraints and escalating intellectual exploits wield a two-edged sword. The reality is that increasing financial pressures make it more difficult to provide optimal healthcare, while cyber introduces another risk to provider viability and patient safety.

Cybersecurity Solutions for Healthcare in 2024

Secure Your Healthcare Organization’s Future with Blackwell Security’s Pulse Platform

In today’s rapidly evolving cyber threat landscape, safeguarding patient care and data integrity is more crucial than ever. With Blackwell Security’s Pulse, our Managed Healthcare Extended Detection and Response (MHXDR) platform, your organization can rise above the chaos of cyber threats. Pulse provides a comprehensive cybersecurity solution tailored specifically for the healthcare sector, ensuring unparalleled transparency and proactive defense.

Our Cyber Fusion Center, at the heart of Blackwell Security’s service delivery, delivers unmatched insight into cybersecurity actions taken on your behalf. From real-time alert investigations to strategic threat hunting, Blackwell Pulse cuts through the noise to identify genuine threats. High-fidelity medical IoT security and data loss prevention measures further fortify your defenses, allowing your systems to focus on what they do best: delivering patient care securely and confidently.

Keep cybersecurity concerns from disrupting your mission to provide exceptional patient care. Embrace the future with Blackwell Security’s Pulse platform and ensure your organization remains resilient in the face of cyber threats. Contact us today to learn how we can tailor our cutting-edge cybersecurity processes and solutions to meet your specific needs, allowing you to navigate the dynamic threat landscape with confidence. Secure your organization’s pulse with Blackwell Security.