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Over-Targeted and Under-Resourced — Why Healthcare Needs ASM

Keegan Henckel-Miller

Healthcare has a ransomware problem. With vast networks, high stakes and limited infosec resources, these companies frequently become the targets of attacks from all sorts of ransomware actors. In 2020, ransomware attacks accounted for 55% of healthcare’s data breaches. Healthcare’s security teams are frequently not as well-resourced as other industries – they spend only about 5% of IT budgets on security where industries like finance spend over 7%. This likely occurs because healthcare operational costs are high and protecting human lives remains the priority. If you work in healthcare, you need a strong first line of defense against ransomware. This is why all hospitals, medical manufacturers and care providers should be protected by an attack surface management solution like Randori. 

Healthcare is Over-Targeted and Under-Resourced

Healthcare companies are charged with holding and protecting the most sensitive of our personal information: medical records. Part of HIPAA Compliance is maintaining a minimum floor of protection for medical information. If healthcare orgs are attempting to achieve such a protection without a clear view of how attackers see them from the outside, they are no longer able to maintain that standard.

Reimagining the way healthcare runs cybersecurity is critical to the future of medicine. Ransomware attacks have recently been known to stall ventilators, cripple ambulances and disconnect vital signs trackers. These attacks are organized — Russian ransomware gang Ryuk has launched targeted attacks against 235 hospitals and counting. Attackers are taking advantage of the fact that hospitals would rather pay a ransom than allow patients to die.

Thwarting Ransomware Attackers with ASM

Growing attack surfaces are a huge problem for you if you work in IT in the medical industry. Every insurance company, technology company or outside provider has its own external network that interacts with yours on a daily basis. Endpoints have exploded, as more medical functions are performed remotely and 24/7 monitoring is expected.

The cost of a ransomware attack goes far beyond the ransom itself. It includes downtime, incident response, remediation, and for healthcare organizations often expensive breach notification and identity protection efforts related to PII. Because of their sky-high stakes and the value of the information they protect, attackers seek out hospitals and clinics, knowing they make easy prey. This means the impact of each attack is greater.

Rather than being on the defensive, healthcare security teams need solutions to help them discover and cut off attackers before encryption. Attack surface management is an affordable way organizations can regain control of their attack surface and stop ransomware before it strikes. With ASM, security teams can beat threat actors at their own game by scanning, discovering and reducing their risk to ransomware before hackers can strike.

ASM — Your First Line of Defense

ASM is an offensive security solution that sees your perimeter from as an attacker does and identifies attack vectors and shadow IT you may not have otherwise discovered. When 95% of vulnerabilities are never exploited, identifying unknown assets and prioritizing which assets to patch first from the attacker’s perspective is crucial for managing costs and risk. 

The truth is that not all assets and vulnerabilities are created equal. Some matter more to your business, and others are more likely to be targeted by attackers. While every business should know which assets matter, the only way to know which are more likely to be targeted is to understand the attacker’s perspective.

As a pioneer of attack surface management, Randori is uniquely positioned to help organizations make the change from traditional vulnerability management to attack surface management. If you’re looking to secure your attack surface and would like to start applying an attacker’s perspective to better prioritize your external risks, take the first step by signing up for a free attacker’s assessment of your organization.