Preventing and Protecting Against Ransomware in Healthcare

Ransomware is the most urgent cyber threat targeting healthcare providers of all sizes. Disruption to healthcare services due to a devastating ransomware attack is an ever-present threat. Protection against ransomware is core to every healthcare cybersecurity defense strategy.

Partnering with Healthcare Providers to Protect Us All

Critical Insight has the experience and the skilled cybersecurity professionals to advise healthcare providers on ransomware protection and how to respond to attacks. With years of experience in public sector cybersecurity, the healthcare sector, and the other designated critical infrastructure sectors, we can ensure that you take the right protective measures.

Protecting healthcare is so vital, and the healthcare sector is so large and diverse that Critical Insight has convened a Healthcare Board of Advisors composed of 12 current and former leaders from hospitals, clinics, insurance providers, and healthcare technology & investment companies. The board members provide Critical Insight with external healthcare sector focused technical and business risk perspectives to deliver a detailed picture of the health sector and the cybersecurity challenges faced, plus direct feedback on the services and solutions offered by Critical Insight.

Critical Insight is a Preferred Cybersecurity Service provider to the American Hospital Association, so you can trust that your cyber defense is in good hands when you partner with us. We Defend. You Thrive.

Ransomware Prevention Consultancy

As demonstrated by the Critical Insight 2023 Healthcare Breach Report, the threats to healthcare providers from ransomware and other cybercriminal activity is high and shows no signs of abating. Healthcare providers need to take steps to prevent falling victim to ransomware attacks by using cybersecurity best practices. However, the complexity of modern healthcare equipment and associated IT infrastructure, the ever-changing nature of deployments, and the changing tactics employed by cybercriminals means that staying up to date with the latest defense solutions and cybersecurity thinking is difficult.

Critical Insight has the experience and the expertise to be your cyber-defense partner. We have the health sector threat knowledge to help you design, implement, and maintain the cybersecurity protections needed to reduce the risk from ransomware attacks. We can work with any healthcare organization to bolster security.

Partnering to Build Strong Cybersecurity Defenses

As every healthcare organization's network and IT systems are unique, it follows that the solutions deployed to defend against ransomware will also vary between them. However, ransomware attacks follow well-known pathways to breach security and infect IT systems.

Critical Insight's cybersecurity experts work with each healthcare organization's Leadership & IT teams to ensure that the proper protections are in place. This process includes several steps, as outlined below.

Gap Analysis & Risk Assessments

Determining the risk from ransomware attacks starts with a gap analysis to discover vulnerabilities in the current protections. This leads to a risk assessment report and recommendations on how to plug any gaps. Any vulnerabilities found are classified according to risk and severity, with the most dangerous flagged to be addressed first.

See the Gap Analysis & Risk Assessments page for more details on this step in a ransomware defense strategy.

Detecting Ransomware Activity

When ransomware evades perimeter security measures and gains a foothold on a network, it then carries out actions to spread laterally and infect as many other devices on the network as possible. These actions include network discovery to find other network devices via Port Scanning, ARP Scanning, Vertical TCP SYN scans, and more.

Once new devices get discovered, the ransomware attempts lateral movement on the network by logging on to them and spreading the ransomware. This step uses existing technologies like the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to try to brute-force login attempts.

The network scanning and remote login activity that ransomware performs on an infected network generates telltale signs that are detectable by Critical Insight's Managed Detection & Response solution.

Rapid Incident Response

Taking preventative measures and detecting telltale ransomware activity are only parts of a comprehensive ransomware prevention strategy.

The number of successful ransomware attacks shows that it's best to assume that an attack will succeed at some point. When ransomware gains a foothold on the network and is detected, a preplanned and rapid incident response plan has to be in place.

Critical Insight's Total Security solution includes a Rapid Quarantine component that can often contain an incident in minutes. This containment stops the lateral spread of ransomware and reduces the number of systems it infects, the disruption caused, and reduces the costs associated with eradicating the ransomware and cleaning any infected systems.

The Active Cyber Incident Response page has more details on the Critical Insight incident response procedures.