Australian Healthcare Providers in the Firing Line

30 May 2022

As we move toward an increasingly digitised world, organisations are realising that data is their most valuable asset. With this understanding comes the need to protect organisational data at all costs. Essential data can include client lists and contact information, information relating to pricing and profitability, and market sensitive financial details. The loss or public release of this data can negatively affect your brand and impact your financial performance .

For healthcare providers the data type is different, but no less valuable. Private, sensitive patient medical records are now stored on company servers and make an attractive target for sophisticated hackers who collectively extort billions worth of ransoms each year. The sensitivity of electronic health records mean that hacked healthcare providers also face the prospect of punitive government fines following any breach.

  • Outside of government and individuals, the health sector reported the highest number of incidents to the ACSC during the 2020.
  • Between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020, the ACSC received 166 incident reports relating to the health sector. This is an increase from the previous calendar year where there were 90 reported incidents affecting the health sector.
  • The bulk of reported incidents were for compromised systems.

2020 Health Sector Snapshot |

For Australian healthcare providers, the realisation that they are being targeted by cyber criminals has come as a rude awakening. Many have been forced to hastily improve their security defence and prepare for phishing and other attacks. The pandemic has created opportunities for bad actors to exploit changes in the way healthcare is delivered. Gone are the days when all doctor appointments were conducted in person and all medical files were stored in manilla folders locked in filing cabinets. The digitalisation of data has now made the health environment a lot more vulnerable.

The Types of Threats Faced

Ransomware is the leading attack tool and its significance is heightened when medical information is at stake. A healthcare provider that has had their data frozen may not be able to see which patients need which life-preserving drugs, and which patients have allergies or comorbidities. In such an instance, restoring access to medical data becomes critical. 

As a team of cyber security experts with over a decade’s worth of experience defending Australian enterprises and government departments from cyber-attack, Intalock is uniquely placed to assist healthcare providers. We can help build cyber-resilience and identify gaps within security defences. We can operate as ‘white hat’ operatives and conduct penetration testing, vulnerability scan or tabletop exercises if required. For more intrusive requirements we can also provide red teaming over a period of time to detect insider threats. We also offer Incident Response retainers to ensure if attacked you get priority help to defend your business. 

Intalock has been helping our customers over the last decade manage potential threats in healthcare, Government, and enterprise businesses. Intalock is uniquely placed to assist healthcare providers build cyber-resilience and manage day to day incidence and identify gaps within your security defences.

How Intalock can help- The Intalock SOC

We know the number one challenge for many organisations is people, security expertise and monitoring and responding 24/7.

  • Our SOC service provides 24/7 coverage with trained eyeballs on screens at all hours to ensure early threat detection and remedy.
  • Our Cyber Threat Intelligence service enables a proactive approach to online threats.
  • Our managed services options allow for a personalised package that suits an organisation’s specific needs.   

    For organisations that have been required to rapidly invest in technology upgrades, allocating resources toward the most pressing component can be a challenge. This is especially true with cyber security offerings, and Intalock’s broad experience can prove invaluable in identifying gaps and recommending solutions.                    

    The cyber security landscape is an ever-evolving battlefield that requires constant vigilance. The pandemic has exposed the healthcare sector to a frightening wave of attack. Many providers have been forced to play catch-up to maintain the security and integrity of their data and thereby safeguard the lives of their patients.

    Be sure to consult cyber security experts to determine your organisation’s state of preparedness and before you invest in improvements.   

     By partnering with Intalock as your cyber expert we can help:

    1. Reduce the scope of attack.
    2. Allow you to know where your data resides.
    3. Provide you with the ability to respond quicker.
    4. Lastly, give you peace of mind in the knowledge that someone is watching and protecting your critical assets at all times. 

    Learn more about the Intalock SOC and how to protect your organisation with 24/7 security operations centre monitoring and Incident Response managed services.

    Download the Intalock SOC Overview – Information sheet.

    If you are experiencing a cyber-attack now, contact the Emergency Hotline 1300 554 798 or 

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