Guardians of Healthcare: Ty Greenhalgh of Claroty Discusses the Rising Costs and Solutions for Cybersecurity in the Medical Industry

What is Claroty? 

“Claroty is a cybersecurity company that protects industrial control networks from cyberattacks. We’re committed to protecting the cyber-physical systems across various organisations. In the healthcare sector, we focus on ensuring patient safety while maximising the advantages of medical device connectivity through comprehensive monitoring and risk management. 

“We also provide specialised support to industrial, commercial and public sectors. Our ultimate goal is to secure the Extended Internet of Things across all these sectors.”

 

What has caused the cost of cyberattacks on healthcare to rise? 

“Healthcare is increasingly in the crosshairs of cybercriminals, who aim to acquire sensitive information and create widespread chaos. 

“Cybercriminals want to steal: 

  • Crucial patient records
  • Employee details
  • Financial information. 

“This data, particularly Protected Health Information (PHI), is a hot commodity in the underworld of the dark web. It serves as a springboard for targeted cyber-attacks, financial scams and extortion schemes. According to our recent report, nearly 30% of healthcare organisations that fell victim to a cyber incident in the past year had their PHI compromised. 

“Cyber-attacks in the healthcare sector impact not just the finances but also operational efficiency and patient care. Immediate expenses such as ransom payments and the cost of remedial actions are merely the starting point. Our research indicates that over one-third of the affected organisations incurred costs surpassing US$1m. The IBM Cost of a Breach survey suggests that the average cost is US$11m in 2022, 50% over the critical infrastructure average. 

“Operational disruptions also contribute significantly to the overall cost. Our findings show that 60% of cyber incidents had a moderate to severe impact on healthcare operations. Attacks targeting essential IT systems—like patient record databases and appointment scheduling platforms—can lead to extensive service interruptions and appointment cancellations.”

 

What can be done to protect healthcare? 

“Strengthening cyber resilience in healthcare is an ongoing commitment that includes human resources, operational procedures and technological solutions. Our research shows that over half of healthcare organisations are ramping up their security budgets, indicating a growing focus on cybersecurity. 

“The top priority is achieving complete visibility of all devices connected within the clinical setting. Effective security is unattainable without a comprehensive understanding of the entire network. This is no small feat given the complexity and scale of healthcare facilities, which often have numerous cyber-physical systems acquired over several years. 

“Organisations will likely require various adaptable discovery methods to fully identify and manage their asset inventory. The National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) Cyber Assessment Framework (CAF) may usher organisations towards more detailed and accurate asset management. Automation is crucial in this context, as manual processes are time-consuming and inefficient. 

“Once all devices are identified, the next step is seamless integration into the existing IT security infrastructure. Current security protocols and governance frameworks must be expanded to include all cyber-physical systems, closing any potential vulnerabilities before they can be exploited. 

“Additionally, network segmentation serves as a great strategy for safeguarding connected medical technologies. By isolating these systems, the risk of attackers using them as entry points into the network is reduced, limiting the damage to medical assets in the event of a breach.”

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