Cybersecurity Attacks the Top Health Tech Hazard for 2023 ECRI Cautions

Cybersecurity Attacks the Top Health Tech Hazard for 2023 ECRI Cautions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC states that cybersecurity attacks are among the top threats for health technology in the coming years. According to the CDC, the number of healthcare providers affected by cyberattacks will rise as the supply chain becomes more difficult to protect. These types of attacks include ransomware, spyware, and other forms of malware. They also affect the security of personal data and patient records.


The ECRI Institute, a nonprofit organization focused on improving the safety and quality of healthcare, released its list of top health technology hazards for 2022. Based on the report’s findings, cyberattacks were ranked as the number one hazard.

Cyberattacks can disrupt patient care, divert emergency vehicles and force providers to reschedule appointments. They can also interfere with business operations. In addition, stolen or corrupted healthcare data is valued by hackers on the black market. It can be used for blackmail, fraudulent schemes, and various other purposes.

Ransomware is becoming more common in the healthcare industry. Healthcare organizations depend on information technology, and many haven’t implemented sufficient security measures. Many health systems have faced high-profile ransomware attacks in the past year. Despite these challenges, ECRI recommends developing a strong security program.

In addition to the threat of ransomware, cybersecurity incidents can affect the safety and efficiency of network-connected medical devices. They could include Wi-Fi dropouts, defective infusion pumps, and supply chain shortfalls. These issues can disrupt patient care and even lead to the death of patients.

As the number of healthcare data breaches continues to increase, more organizations are turning to incident response. Developing a plan to sustain patient care after an attack is crucial.

ECRI’s report focuses on the safety of health tech, or “total systems.” It provides information for medical entities to better address their risks. Specifically, the report identifies the top 10 health tech hazards for 2022.

In addition to the list’s top ten hazards, ECRI outlines recommendations for HDOs to keep their patient safety in mind. These include building stronger processes and procedures. For example, a lack of a strong supply chain security plan can put providers and staff at risk.

A recent study by the Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center revealed that ransomware is a growing threat. The Center analyzed how various threat actors influenced the evolution of healthcare ransomware attacks in 2022.

While cybersecurity attacks and ransomware remain the top concerns, ECRI also identified supply chain shortfalls as a growing health tech hazard. Supply chain issues can prevent the delivery of necessary supplies, which can hinder the operation of a healthcare organization.

Supply chain challenges

The medical device industry is facing a variety of supply chain challenges. Its executives are being forced to confront longstanding issues such as labor and raw material shortages. They must also address concerns about cybersecurity.

There are a number of ways to protect health tech from cyberattacks. From real-time detection systems to threat intelligence, healthcare organizations are turning to technology to strengthen their defenses. However, keeping up with the latest developments can be challenging.

One of the key aspects of a strong security strategy is knowing your vendors. Healthcare institutions need to conduct regular, rigorous reviews of their suppliers. Not only should they know who they are working with, they should also ensure that all agreements are properly vetted.

Another aspect of a well-executed security plan is understanding the scale of the threats they face. Attackers are looking for ways to gain access to networked systems, which is a major concern. Cybercriminals are also finding ways to encrypt data.

The Cloud Security Alliance recently released a report highlighting the various cybersecurity risks associated with health tech supply chains. These include software, hardware, IT networks, and more. Aside from the obvious, there is no silver bullet to resolve these threats. But with the advancement of technology, new solutions will help keep these threats at bay.

While it’s impossible to completely avoid the risk of cyberattacks, it is important to take steps to inoculate the organization against viruses. Among other things, healthcare companies are using artificial intelligence to identify and respond to threats in real time.

Healthcare organizations need to take a close look at their vendors, and implement an end-to-end acquisition policy that mandates a robust review of their credentials. Often, organizations work with thousands of third-party businesses. By identifying and evaluating your vendors, you can reduce the likelihood of a costly and devastating cyberattack.

Whether it’s a single infusion pump or an entire hospital, one bad actor could disrupt the entire process. That’s why organizations must implement a comprehensive supply chain security strategy.

Supply chains have become a prime target for cyberattacks. While they’re often considered a weak point, they can actually be a valuable asset for attackers.

Commonspirit Health’s IT security issue

CommonSpirit Health, a large nonprofit health system, is experiencing an IT security incident. As a result, it has taken some systems offline. Specifically, it has shut down electronic health records. Some patients may experience delays and cancellations in their medical appointments. The company has confirmed that there was an incident but declined to explain what occurred or how it was handled.

CommonSpirit operates more than 140 hospitals in 21 states. The organization’s chief information officer, Daniel Barchi, is a former CIO of Yale School of Medicine and the Yale New Haven Health System. He launched a cybersecurity operations center to investigate the security issue.

The cybersecurity incident affected the patient portal. It was discovered that files contained names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, and medical record numbers. These were obtained by threat actors. In addition, an unauthorized third party gained access to the network between September 16 and October 3.

Not all of the systems affected by the cyberattack have been brought back online. For instance, the EHR at MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center was taken offline. However, the patient portal was restored.

The cybersecurity incident has also impacted some other facilities of CommonSpirit Health. These facilities include St. Anne Hospital in Seattle, MercyOne Central Iowa, and Virginia Mason Franciscan Health.

In the wake of the incident, the company has rescheduled some patient appointments, redirected ambulances, and worked to bring electronic health record systems back online. Additionally, the company has hired top cybersecurity experts to investigate and address the issue.

On December 1, CommonSpirit reported the security incident to the Office for Civil Rights. They began contacting individuals on that date.

It is unclear how many patients were affected by the breach. In the meantime, CommonSpirit is working to restore its systems. At this point, it has no indications that the personal information of any patients was compromised.

This cybersecurity incident has raised concerns about the safety and privacy of patient data. Though the details of the incident are unclear, the healthcare industry has experienced numerous hacking incidents in the past month.

Russia may use cyberattacks as a form of retaliation

The second Ukraine War is proving to be a major opportunity to better understand Russia’s cyber attack strategy. Russian cyber attacks are a hybrid war tactic. They are part of the strategic mix of diplomacy, military action, and disinformation campaigns. Combined with the traditional diplomatic approaches, the cyberspace is often used to put more force behind the diplomatic efforts.

Cyberattacks have become increasingly popular as an alternative to traditional diplomacy. While they are less common than military actions, they are more destructive. As such, it is important to keep a close eye on the situation and respond appropriately.

In the United States, President Biden has urged business leaders to increase their defenses against cyberattacks. He has also repeatedly warned of malicious Russian cyber activity against the U.S. Earlier this year, the FBI contacted five energy companies to warn them about cybersecurity scans and hackers with Russian internet addresses.

Russia’s cyber attacks target critical infrastructure. The Russian government has been using cyberattacks as a way to disrupt societies, weaken nations, and degrade their defensive capabilities.

According to a recent analysis from Microsoft, the Russian cyberattacks observed against Ukraine in March 2022 are a sign that Moscow is preparing to conduct retaliatory attacks. This may include cyberattacks against Western organizations.

A cyberattack is a very difficult thing to track, especially for a country such as the U.S. Unlike conventional military attack, Russian cyberattacks can be more targeted and disruptive. For example, the WhisperGate wiper, which deletes computers’ operating systems, rendered computers inoperable.

One possible cyberattack might be a retaliatory attack against the United States. Some experts believe that Russia will target American industries such as the energy sector, financial industry, and manufacturing industries.

However, retaliatory attacks are unlikely. Putin would likely use other methods to achieve his goal. These tactics include integrating criminal hackers into the cyber attack to escalate.

Despite this, most C-suite executives are not concerned about escalation. Nevertheless, the United States needs to find ways to respond to less-frequent but persistent cyberattacks.

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