keyboard_iStock_000003183204Small-computerkeyboardBased on recent news stories and our experience, it appears that cybercriminals may be targeting healthcare providers with ransomware attacks. Publicly reported incidents and others of which we are aware have involved providers ranging from clinics and imaging centers to hospitals, and these entities have had to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars to gain access to their medical records, billing records or other vital computer systems – often after significant interruption of operations. On March 31, 2016, the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security issued an alert about these attacks as a result of recent attacks on businesses including healthcare facilities and hospitals worldwide.
Continue Reading Caution – Vendors are not the only ones charging you to use your EHR/EMR!

spinningPlatesiStock_000011904878_LargeIt’s a dangerous world for protected information, with major breaches in the news and a challenging cyber-threat environment behind the scenes. The healthcare industry is a prime target, especially given the premium value of health information on the black market. And healthcare entities face not only PHI breach exposures, but also security risks for other forms of protected information, such as PII and, for many, cardholder data.

Healthcare organizations must be prepared to respond to data breaches, but effective response is no small matter. There are 10 different channels of response activity for an organization that has suffered a security breach: Security, Legal, Forensic, Law Enforcement, Regulators, Insurance Coverage, Public Relations, Stakeholders, Notification, and Personnel Management. Most of these activities are involved in every breach, and all must be dealt with in significant breaches. These activities are not sequential. They play out in parallel, with interrelated effects… and with the response clock ticking.
Continue Reading The 10 Key Activities for Effective Data Breach Response – Are You Prepared?

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation today released its analysis of the 2013 Target Data Breach, using the “intrusion kill chain” framework from Lockheed Martin as its analytical tool.  In short, the analysis shows that although Target likely failed at multiple steps along the chain to stop the breach, the opening salvo by the attackers was waged on a Target vendor, Fazio Mechanical Services.

Although details are not reported, the report does suggest that the attacker may “have sent malware-laden emails to Fazio at least two months before the Target data breach began.”  Target’s supplier portal and facilities management pages were apparently viewable on the Internet, and files from the sites “allowed the attacker to map Target’s internal network prior to the breach.”  Unfortunately, Fazio was also using a free version of an anti-malware product, which did not provide real-time protection and was intended only for individual consumer use.
Continue Reading Business associates: First step in a breach ‘kill chain’