“Cybersecurity Awareness Month” was different this year. Normally, companies spend the month educating themselves on cybersecurity matters to discover how they can create a better digital healthcare experience. Some key topics this year brought on by the challenges of COVID-19 that were discussed included telework for healthcare workers, remote work challenges that healthcare workers face and what steps can healthcare workers take to work and be safer.

Unfortunately, this year’s “Cybersecurity Awareness Month” became a warning. Hackers launched record attacks on United States’ hospitals. These attacks made it clear to companies: If you do not fast-track your practices now, you’ll fall behind and not be able to keep patients’ information secure.

America focused on awareness

In the USA, the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) ensured that people have the resources they need to be safer and more secure online. This year’s theme was, “Do your part. #BeCyberSmart” and encouraged individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace, stressing personal accountability and the importance of taking proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity.

The FDA digital health center of Excellence (DHCoE) also held its first public webinar in October with the vision of setting the stage for advancing and realizing the potential of digital health. Cybersecurity is placed as the pre-condition to the digital health success by DHCoE.

Not to be outdone, Technation offered the following video that showcased their commitment to patient safety to protect the public from medical device cybersecurity threats

And CHIME (College of Healthcare Information Management Executives), the professional organization for Chief Information Officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders offered free resources and tools online to exchange ideas, develop professionally and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and care throughout the communities they serve.

Additionally, the Cyber Security Healthcare and Med Device held a half-day event to advance medical device safety and security. Participants include healthcare delivery organizations, device-makers, regulatory agencies, risk managers, insurers, security experts and more.

Germany advanced digital health solutions

Germany took on the “Cybersecurity Awareness Month” challenge to make key medical advancements their digital health practices. Germany vowed to become a top country for digital health solution providers and made this happen by offering a Fast-track’ that allows doctors to prescribe low risk medical apps. Germany also took additional steps to have telehealth consultations reimbursed, are making electronic health records available for all statutory health insurance members, and moved patient communications and prescriptions to electronic channels to ease access to patient data from health insurance companies for research institutions.

Canada held a virtual MedTech conference

In Canada, they refused to let social distancing stand in the way of progress and cybersecurity. This year’s Virtual MedTech Conference took place in late October and featured world‑class speakers, cross‑cutting educational programming, and valuable networking and business development opportunities.This year’s event includedhealthcare delivery organizations, device-makers, regulatory agencies, risk managers, insurers, security experts and more, coming together to discuss how to better protect and manage patient safety.

The US took on hackers

As mentioned, the US was attacked by hackers during “Cybersecurity Awareness Month.” As a result of these attacks, the US Joint Cyber Security task force, coauthored by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) just issued an urgent warning about the ryuk ransomware group saying that they have credible information of an increased and imminent cybercrime threat to U.S. hospitals and healthcare providers.

Additionally, the H-ISAC recently released a BOLO bulletin warning about state actors using fake LinkedIn accounts as an attack point for adversarial activity. And in an effort to keep medical devices secure, the H-ISAC released a comprehensive whitepaper on Medical Device Cybersecurity Lifecycle management.

US hospitals are now dealing with ransomware and hackers. n an advisory memo released last night, federal officials warned of an “increased and imminent cybercrime threat” to hospitals and healthcare providers across the country. The FBI warned that at least five hospitals have been hit this week in what appears to be an escalation and expansion of similar attacks previously launched on other hospitals and medical facilities.

Make cybersecurity an obsession

If “Cybersecurity Awareness Month” has shown us one thing, it is that one month is not enough time to commit to a safer and more cybersecure tomorrow. A business can only be as successful as it is safe. Make digital safety a key pillar of your business strategy. Your customers will thank you and your business will thrive.

Irdeto offers modular cybersecurity solutions and services for smaller startups to scale up their cybersecurity capability to keep software and medical devices from vulnerability and cyberattacks, meet regulatory requirements and protect patient safety.

Click here to get in touch with Irdeto’s Connected Health team to learn more!

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