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2022 News-EN

CYBER SECURITY IN THE HEALTHCARE SECTOR: WHY IT’S A PRIORITY

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CYBER SECURITY IN THE HEALTHCARE SECTOR: WHY IT'S A PRIORITY

The scenario of cyber attacks is by no means rosy.

Criminal operations are constantly increasing, both in terms of frequency and criticality, with increasingly targeted attacks in order to maximize cybercrime profits.

The Covid-19 pandemic was a further aggravating situation: the criminals have not lost this opportunity to exploit this issue as much as possible, compromising companies, organizations and institutions already put to the strain by the management of the emergency.

Among the numerous targets, the healthcare sector is certainly the one that worries most of all.

As we showed in the Clusit Report 2022 presented a few weeks ago at the Italian Security Summit, since 2018, Healthcare is the fourth most targeted sector by criminals, with an ever-increasing number of attacks (13% of the total cyber attacks in 2021).

A trend, which not only shows no signs of decreasing, but also seems to be getting worse.
So what are the priority interventions for the health sector to try to stem this situation?
  1. Mitigate vulnerabilities
  2. The spread of IT and digital technology also in the Healthcare sector has facilitated activities and contributed to a more agile management of the entire healthcare sector.

    At the same time, however, it has contributed to increasing the risks of encountering several vulnerabilities:
    • incorrect configurations,
    • absence of patches or updates in operating systems and applications
    • installation and / or design defects
    • defects in the management of protocols and communications
    These issues can be exploited as an entry point to breach and compromise information systems, an even greater risk for those who manage data as sensitive as healthcare.

    It is a priority to carry out periodic checks (at least every 6 months) to find the evidence and mitigate it quickly.

    Unlike a normal company, in a healthcare facility Vulnerability Assessment must be performed with the utmost caution to avoid interruptions in activities.

    In addition, it would also be advisable to perform this check more frequently, in order to be sure to promptly handle issues.
  3. Verify the Cyber ​​Security strategy
  4. Solving vulnerabilities is really important but not the only solution.

    It is in fact very important to verify the cybersecurity strategy chosen by the healthcare facility.

    A good strategy must first of all include defensive solutions: these can include hardware products (such as firewalls), software (such as anti-malware products), and timely updating of systems and applications.

    A robust, up-to-date and properly configured backup system is equally a priority: in the event of a ransomware infection, the backup could in fact be the only salvation.

    Finally, it is also necessary to have a good disaster recovery plan, because, although the defensive solutions may be adequate, the chances of suffering a cyber attack are nonetheless.

    It is important, in this case, to be prepared and that the response would be rapid and effective, with priority of intervention previously shared and reviewed frequently.
  5. Cyber Security Awareness Trainings
  6. Some types of cyber attacks are complex to recognize and not easily intercepted by software solutions such as anti-malware products.

    Among these threats are, for example, Phishing, BEC (Business Email Compromise) scams and all types of online scams, which can have very serious consequences and induce victims to carry out harmful actions without their knowledge, such as installing malware or providing information to criminals.

    To try to stem this problem, it is useful to train staff to recognize the main threats and the most recent types of cyber attacks.

    Cyber Security Awareness trainings are useful for this purpose and should be organized for employees, collaborators and company management, at least once a year.
Being aware and prepared for the main cyber threats, and in particular for those specific to your sector, is now an essential priority for everyone.

But it is even more so for the healthcare sector, which is important and which, in addition to its systems, must also be able to protect our health data.

Good job!

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2021 News-EN

CLUSIT REPORT OCTOBER 2021 EDITION: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

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CLUSIT REPORT OCTOBER 2021 EDITION: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Security Summit Streaming Edition 2021 ended last week.

Organized by Clusit, the Italian Association for Information Security, and Astrea, an agency specializing in the organization of events in the field of Information Security, Security Summit is the event dedicated to promoting the culture of Cyber Security in Italy.

The November edition focused on current events: between data and analysis of new threats, the Clusit experts also explored the new role of the Intelligence and Defense of the Country System, with some of the protagonists of the political and security world that accompanied the birth of the National Cyber Security Agency.

In particular, during the plenary session on the first day of November 9, 2021, the Clusit Report on ICT Security in Italy in its October 2021 Edition was presented with our data on cyber attacks.

In the first half of 2021, we analyzed 1,053 cyber attacks, 24% more than in the same period of 2020, for a monthly average of 170 serious attacks (it was 156 in 2020).

Attacks carried out for Cybercrime purposes increased by 21%, which today represent 88% of the total.

Attacks related to Information Warfare are also growing (+ 18%), the so-called “information war”, while those related to Cyber Espionage activities apparently decrease (-36.7%), after the extraordinary peak of 2020 mainly due to espionage related to the development of vaccines and treatments for Covid-19.

Among the victims, the “Government” category represents 16% of the total and is confirmed in first place, as in the previous semester, while in second place we find Health, (13% of total attacks).

Attacks on the Transportation / Storage (+ 108.7%), Professional, Scientific, Technical (+ 85.2%), News & Multimedia (+ 65.2%), Wholesale / Retail (+61, 3%), Manufacturing (+ 46.9%), Energy / Utilities (+ 46.2%), Government (+ 39.2%), Arts / Entertainment (+ 36.8%), Healthcare (+18.8 %).

Attacks towards the “Multiple Targets” category decreased (-23.4%), which makes us understand the change of strategy by the attackers who at this point prefer targeted attacks and towards well-identified targets.

In the first half of 2021, attacks on European-based realities increase significantly: a quarter of the attacks are in fact directed towards this area (+ 9% compared to 2020).

The percentages of victims in the American area (almost half of the classified attacks) and those belonging to Asian organizations remain substantially unchanged.

On the other hand, serious attacks on targets with offices distributed in different countries decrease in percentage (16% in the first half of 2021, compared to 24% in 2020), which, once again, makes us understand how much attackers prefer to target more defined targets.

Malware is the most used technique, accounting for 43% of the total (up 10.5% over the previous year).

Unknown techniques (“Unknown” category) are in second place (+ 13.9%), surpassing the “Vulnerability” category, which is growing worryingly (+ 41.4%), and “Phishing / Social Engineering”, which is slightly down (-13%).

In essence, attackers can still rely on the effectiveness of Malware, produced industrially at decreasing costs, and on the exploitation of vulnerabilities, to hit two thirds of their targets (59% of the cases analyzed).

Furthermore, in the first half of 2021 attacks with very important and critical effects are 74% of the total (they were 49% in 2020), while 22% have a significant impact and only 4% low.

Basically, from the trends highlighted in the first 6 months of this year, it is evident that cyber attacks are constantly increasing, both in terms of frequency, criticality and impacts.

The situation can be defined as a global emergency: the losses due to damages caused by Cybercrime amounted to $6 trillion in 2021 and now account for a significant percentage of world GDP.

We hope that the new investments for the digital transition will represent an opportunity for Italy to catch up and fill its gaps also in the Cyber Security field, to lead to a significant reduction of the surface of the country’s attack.

Otherwise, the risk is to introduce new but insecure technology, with the result of worsening the Italian situation overall.

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2021 News-EN

OCTOBER IS THE EUROPEAN CYBER SECURITY MONTH

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OCTOBER IS THE EUROPEAN CYBER SECURITY MONTH

ECSM (European Cyber Security Month) is an initiative coordinated by Enisa (European Union Agency for Information Security) and the European Commission, with the aim of promoting Cyber Security through events and initiatives to raise awareness.

The campaign takes place every year in October and is supported by EU Member States and hundreds of European partners.

Since its first edition in 2012, the European Cyber Security Month has promoted its activities by adopting the slogan “Information Security is a shared responsibility”.

The EU Cyber Security Agency coordinates the organization of the ECSM campaign each year by acting as a “hub” for all Member States, EU institutions and participating organizations.

The 2021 edition is strongly influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic, which although it helped to spread the use of digital, on the other hand had put system security to a severe test.

The main objective is always to ensure that EU end users and organizations receive correct information about Cyber Security in order to understand risks and main threats.

#ThinkB4UClick (think before clicking) is therefore the main theme of this year’s campaign, in its 2 forms:

  • First aid, guidelines on what to do if you fall victim to a cyber attack
  • Be cyber-safe at home

Even this year the European Cyber Security Month will be supported in Italy by Clusit (Italian Association for Cyber Security) together with various organizations, universities and research centers.

 

You can find the list of initiatives promoted by the association for the ECSM2021 campaign in CLUSIT website.

As a member of the Clusit Scientific Committee, our CEO Sofia Scozzari is one of the Italian Partners for the ECSM2021 and she will participate with a series of events and initiatives.

To join the campaign, you can add an activity on the Cyber Security Month website or by sending it to Clusit.

You can also support the campaign online on Twitter or Facebook with references to @CyberSecMonth, #CyberSecMonth, #ThinkB4UClick

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