A new brief from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center (HC3) offers tips to protect health care organizations from basic web application attacks, which have targeted patient portals and commonly use stolen credentials or known vulnerabilities to expose patient data. 
 
“This type of attack, which involves cyber adversaries exploiting flaws in internet or public-facing websites such as patient portals, is a serious issue for health care,” said John Riggi, AHA’s national advisor for cybersecurity and risk. “Besides risking the security of patient data, these types of attacks have been leveraged in the past year to conduct high-impact ransomware attacks against at least one large health system and a major health care scheduling and payroll vendor, both of which disrupted health care delivery services for several weeks. It is essential for hospitals and health systems to conduct ongoing vulnerability scanning and regular penetration testing of all web resources, one of the many recommendations contained in the HC3 briefing.”
 
For more information on this or other cyber and risk issues, contact Riggi at jriggi@aha.org.

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