Addressing the Healthcare Industry’s Serious Cybersecurity Issues


Summary:The security of equipment, data, applications and online accounts is critical for any hospital or patient diagnostic service. However, the maintenance and updating of complicated IT systems are not easy for medical professionals who are focused on patient care. Cloud-empowered cybersecurity addresses these concerns for healthcare organisations. Read on to learn how.

In July 2018, the Mahatma Gandhi Mission Hospital in Vashi (Navi Mumbai) faced a ransomware attack, the third such attack in the Navi Mumbai area.* Hospital administrators found their computer systems locked with an encrypted message from unidentified hackers. They demanded Bitcoin payment – on a given email ID – to unlock it. The hospital lost 15 days of data that contained their billing records and patients’ history. It lodged a police complaint, and the IT team was put to task to recover the lost data.

Hospitals, pathology works and other healthcare services today are deeply integrated with technology, much of which is also connected to the Internet. While the use of cloud computing and custom digital solutions has made sample testing, diagnosis and patient care more efficient, these technologies are also exposed to a horde of cyber threats. Hackers can take over accounts to access medical applications, steal and manipulate patient data, infect systems with malware or shut down devices till a ransom is paid.

Additionally, the outbreak and massive spread of COVID-19 have increased the workload of healthcare organisations and made them more vulnerable to such risks.

Basic measures such as antivirus software cannot provide adequate security. Healthcare companies must have an array of measures to keep intruders off their devices and network. Contrarily, these organisations also try to avoid the trouble of dealing with multiple vendors for IT and cybersecurity tools.

Tata Tele Business Services (TTBS) helps its clients build a cohesive cybersecurity program that comprises solutions hosted and managed by our experienced team in a secure cloud environment. These include:

Endpoint Security

Endpoint security is a way to secure the computer networks that are remotely connected to devices such as desktops, laptops, mobiles, tablets and servers.

The TTBS Endpoint Security helps healthcare companies safeguard such machines from viruses, malware, ransomware, phishing, data thefts and other threats. Powered by Trend Micro, it has expansive security features and advanced endpoint sensors to keep devices and data secure whether they are at rest or in use. The solution can be configured on any device operated by Windows, iOS or Android.

With Endpoint Security, pathology labs and hospitals can keep their data private and secure – the solution prevents leaks that happen due to intentional or unintentional copying of data to removable USBs. It also averts the execution of harmful applications that create network vulnerabilities or lead to unauthorised access to medical systems.

A single management console helps IT administrators to monitor the status of all devices using the solution. The solution is also easy to scale, and it works without affecting the speed of other applications installed on a device.

Email Security

Emails are the most common sources of viruses, spyware, phishing attacks and spam problems for a device. As the number of cyber threats increase and get more sophisticated, healthcare enterprises must strengthen their email security to safeguard their data, patient care systems and diagnostic machines, custom software, applications and medical networks.

TTBS’ cloud-based Email Security is powered by FirstWave Cloud Technology’s ESPTM email software technology, Cisco-based ESA/IronPort, and Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) technologies, which have been certified as market leaders by Gartner, IDC &Radicati.

Our solution works for Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, and other email domains at on-premise servers. In addition to being a robust shield against malware, ransomware, phishing, viruses, and spam, it stops complex threats such as spear-phishing, whaling, typo domain, and spoofing attacks.

The feature-rich solution is quick to set up and requires only minor modifications to mail exchange records. It provides the facilities of analytics and policy enforcement for ease of management.

Multifactor Authentication

Passwords used for account logins are no longer effective in preventing unauthorised access to enterprise applications. Workers at diagnostic centres and hospitals are increasingly using mobile devices, and the data stored therein can be stolen or manipulated by cybercriminals with easy hacking of accounts. Weak passwords or the same password used for multiple applications make the hacking easier.

With multifactor authentication (MFA), healthcare companies get an assurance that only the permitted employees are accessing the protected work systems. It requires users to verify their identity by providing at least two pieces of evidence, each of which has to come from a different source: something they know, something they possess, or something they are.

The TTBS MFA is powered by Cisco Duo Security. With its zero-trust security model, it enables secure and legitimate access to the data and applications used on a device.

The solution mitigates the ripple effect of compromised credentials. Even if cyber crooks have a worker’s username or password, they will be asked for another factor, such as soft or hard tokens, push authentications or U2F, before they can log in or make a transaction. The game for the criminals ends there as only genuine users can provide these factors.

TTBS MFA can be easily configured on any device, and users can choose the authentication factors that suit their workflows. For added security, the organisation can also set up adaptive policies for each of the systems to be guarded.

Virtual Firewall

Firewalls are recommended for healthcare IT systems as they inspect and manage all web traffic accessed on the devices used in daily operations. However, physical firewalls are difficult to manage without the support of an experienced IT team. Some restrictions can impact the working of custom software used by the employees, and laidback settings create the danger of malicious content reaching the device.

TTBS addresses these concerns with its cloud-hosted, fully managed Virtual Firewall that employs the industry-leading Palo Alto Networks firewall technology. It runs within a virtual environment while delivering the usual packet filtering and monitoring services that a physical firewall offers.

The firewall monitors all apps and content accessed on a device with swift response time against potential threats. Even with advanced security attributes, it does not interfere with normal work processes and keeps getting updated against evolving threats.

The Virtual Firewall works on all devices, at any location with a basic Internet connection and is easily scalable.

Web Security

To provide correct information to their patients and maintain the integrity of their internal systems, hospitals and other healthcare service providers must keep their website, applications and networks fully secure. The growing use of online resources in this industry makes it imperative to focus on IT and cybersecurity.

TTBS’ Web Security brings advanced threats intelligence to combat the attacks that target web applications, software and network infrastructure of organisations.

The solution is based on DNS-based technology that comes from Cisco Talos Intelligence and Cisco Advanced Malware Protection (AMP). It determines the intent of all web requests, URLs and files reaching a network or device and is an effective measure against bots, man-in-the-middle and app vulnerability attacks.

Features such as web filtering, collective security intelligence, portal reporting and category-based URL filtering make the TTBS Web Security for a versatile online security solution.

With quick and real-time analysis, the Web Security determines if the web traffic reaching a device is safe, risky or malicious. It permits or blocks the flow as per the analysis and may even send the findings to experienced IT teams for further inspection. Meanwhile, the host device and network always stay safe from the threats.

By installing the cost-effective Web Security on its computers, a healthcare service can efficiently eliminate any threat before it touches the endpoints of the machine and the network that it belongs to.

Cloud-based Security versus Traditional Solutions

At a time when healthcare companies and path labs are increasingly embracing digitalisation, cloud-based solutions make cybersecurity simpler.

A quick glance shows the advantages of these virtual solutions over the traditional ones:

Cloud Security Traditional Security
Quick to scale Slow scaling
Efficient resource utilisation Poor efficiency
Zero CapEx or low upfront costs High upfront costs
Usage-based billing High maintenance and ongoing costs
Managed services by experienced providers Needs internal teams for management and support

While deploying cybersecurity systems, it is also necessary to realise that most cyberattacks are opportunistic, and hackers take advantage of any loopholes commonly found in traditional measures.

Tata Tele Business Services is well-versed with advanced security and data governance models and has accordingly designed a portfolio that helps businesses to streamline their tasks and mitigate risks in real-time. To know more about our offerings, connect with us at 1800-266-1800.


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