Protecting Against Ransomware in Hospitals and its Medical Devices

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ransomware medical devices

Ransomware attacks have grown to a point where it is no longer just known to the IT industry, but also in the mainstream. Ransomware attacks have risen over the past years, from consumers to even specialized industries like healthcare. It can cause sudden loss of data if threat actors choose to keep stolen data encrypted. Another overlooked risk is the disruption of services that the affected experience during an attack. This is even more critical for specialized services like healthcare which handle the lives of its patients.

Healthcare organizations like hospitals rely heavily on computer systems to run their operations. Threat actors know that any disruption to this system can heavily affect the care given to their patients. With lives at stake, the affected healthcare organization has no choice but to pay even if they don’t have the resources. Attackers even go the extra step to research what the absolute limit of ransom an organization can pay.

2019 had an incident where a facility in the US was hit by ransomware. This incident disabled the organizations access to patient records and medical devices. This was a case where unfortunately, due to the medical systems being down, a life of a baby was lost.

While there is no foolproof way to prevent ransomware attacks, there are ways to lessen the risk. This comes in the form of a multitude of IT security solutions that can help detect the attacks or even backup solutions that can help restore data before the attack. However, Operational Technology (OT) like medical devices also need to be considered as it is a lesser-known entry point.

This is where solutions like Trend Micro’s TXOne solutions can help the healthcare industry.

TXOne to Secure OT

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The security experts at Trend Micro have done the research for you. From the industry standards to hospital processes, they know where the security vulnerabilities lie and created a solution that complements it. Below are a few ways in which TXOne can help healthcare’s OT security:

  • Effective network segmentation, virtual patch (IPS) and network containment through robust network appliances, preventing ransomware propagation
  • Granular control over healthcare protocols with support for 50+ variant IT and OT protocols for hospital network access control (HL7, DICOM, Modbus and more)
  • Lock down mission-critical endpoint assets using whitelisting technology, immunizing your system to ransomware
  • Quickly and conveniently remove ransomware via our plug-and-scan USB technology
  • Provide central and individual management options perfectly suited to different management roles

To learn more on how to better protect your business from ransomware, you can email us at!

Preparing for Evolving Threats with OT Zero Trust

<strong>Preparing for Evolving Threats with OT Zero Trust</strong>
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Every year new technologies are being introduced into the IT business environment to improve it for the better. On the other hand, threats as well have been improving the ways to disrupt businesses and finding ways to exploit security vulnerabilities to steal or ransom your data. Attackers in recent years have focused their efforts on previously less guarded entry points such as remote endpoints. However, Operational Technology (OT) is an entry point which most businesses tend to forget, are unsure of how they can secure it, or even think IT security covers it. OT security is something businesses need to be aware of as the threats coming from it grow every year.

OT targeted threats started coming into big news in 2010 when an Iranian nuclear power plant experienced major loses due to an attack. It was then considered a common way state-sponsored threat actors would deal blows to enemies of their state. It would then be looked in a different light in 2017 when WannaCry caused havoc to many businesses. This showed threat actors that companies were willing to pay large sums of money for data that they could easily encrypt by exploiting security vulnerabilities within their systems.

As of 2020 and 2021, customized and targeted attacks have now become the norm and something to be wary of. All these attacks, be it to the remote endpoints or OT, stem from the exploitation of excessive trust. This is why in recent years, the push for Zero Trust security has been everywhere.

Zero Trust approach for OT can improve defenses, streamline security oversight, minimize time taken during maintenance. This is done through policies which help neutralize the activities that attackers and malware can do if they are able to get into the business network.

Below are the steps that Trend Micro txOne takes to ensure that Zero Trust is implemented into a business’ OT:

Scan inbound devices

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Modern OT cyberattacks usually start with an infected endpoint or USB brought into the worksite by an employee. Once connected to the network, the attackers are able to access the OT device which has little to no security. By setting up a checkpoint for rapid, installation-free device scans you can mitigate these threats. This also be the process of newly arrived assets being prepared for onboarding to mitigate threats from compromised devices prior to shipping.

Activate endpoint defenses

OT Security endpoint

Traditional antivirus software can bog down assets, leading to crashes or delays. By using operations-friendly, “OT-native” lockdown software can help secure legacy endpoints through a trust list that only allows applications critical to operations. Modernized endpoints on the other hand, can save on resources by cross referencing a library of trusted Industrial Control System (ICS) applications and licenses. This to allow the OT security to communicate with the next generation firewalls to know what files and applications it can skip and give priority to.

Zero out network trust

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Having IT security doesn’t mean that you have OT security. The OT network and devices have their own protocol and processes that are separate from your business IT. However, OT still needs a connection to your business IT for necessary data collection and updates. Attackers aim for this window to get your attack the network. To increase the difficulty for attackers, Zero Trust OT security limits the access of entry points within the OT network with specific traffic rules. The traffic rules are based on the functions and communication needs in order for them to do their work. It also has the added benefit of separating them into segments that make it easier for IT teams to monitor and secure.

To learn more about OT security solutions like txOne, you can send us your inquiries at!