Assuta Medical Centers defend patients with new cybersecurity tool

The port of entry for most cyber attackers is through medical devices.

April 29, 2018 19:13
1 minute read.
A man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him

A man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him. (photo credit: KACPER PEMPEL/REUTERS)

The healthcare industry is among the most vulnerable to cyberattacks, according to Prof. Ari Shamiss, the CEO of Assuta Medical Centers Network.

“These attacks are happening at an alarming rate,” Shamiss said.

Speaking at the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York on Sunday, Shamiss shared statistics about the rate and impact of cybercrimes on healthcare.

Some 94% of medical institutions in the United States say they have been victims of cyberattacks, he said. The healthcare community was the target of 88% of the ransomware attacks in the United States last year.

In the case of a data hostage case, a hospital could stand to lose more than $1 million per day if it was shut down.

The first medical attack for ransom in the US was on May 17, 2017. Since then, “a lot has happened,” he said.

Shamiss explained that the port of entry for most cyber attackers is through medical devices. In a best-case scenario, these attackers would compromise patient data privacy. In a worst-case scenario, they would gain control of these medical devices, potentially shut them down or disconnect them, which could result in patient harm or even death.

He said medical devices are particularly vulnerable because most medical devices lack the proper mechanism for security software patching, largely due to their long lifespan. Additionally, medical devices lack sufficient security controls and lack visibility.

“But Israel is the Start-Up Nation,” said Shamiss. And the Assuta Medical Centers Network is at the forefront of protecting the healthcare industry from these cyberattacks, through collaborations with multiple Israeli start-ups. One such innovation is CyberMDX.

CyberMDX provides healthcare centers with cybersecurity technology to protect their connected medical devices and clinical networks. The solution, deployed as a virtual appliance on premise, is achieving the security and visibility objective via four pillars: seeing, understanding, preventing and alerting.

“CyberMDX is ready to stand guard and protect what is most precious to us,” Shamiss said.

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