Tag: cyber security

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5 Great Ways to Improve Cybersecurity in Healthcare

Cybersecurity has been an ongoing concern for several major industries. The rapid shift to digitization has given rise to several threats in cybersecurity in healthcare. Today, healthcare companies have access to enormous amounts of patient data, most of which are stored electronically. The loss or breach of data privacy due to the hacking of the records is no child’s play as far as healthcare companies are concerned. Apart from being sued, such mishaps could also tarnish the brand name and trust of patients in the company. In the past couple of years, a number of hacking and IT security incidents have been reported and several companies in the healthcare sector have struggled to protect their data and keep cybercriminals at bay. Hence, given such complexities, it becomes imperative to ensure appropriate measures for cybersecurity in healthcare. Cybercriminals are now developing highly sophisticated techniques and tools to attack healthcare organizations, gain access to their data, and hold their records and network hostage in lieu of a ransom. Earlier, cybersecurity in healthcare was lagging compared to other sectors. However, many top healthcare providers have purchased new technologies, spiked-up their cybersecurity budgets, and are getting better at blocking attacks and keeping their networks secure. Here are some of the best ways in which cybersecurity in healthcare can be improved:Request Proposal

Acknowledge the threat 

It might often seem silly for someone to hack healthcare records, but recent incidents rule out the chance to take such mishaps lightly. Healthcare data is highly lucrative for cybercriminals, especially in the area of ransomware. Ransomware refers to a type of malicious software that holds patients’ healthcare information and financial data hostage until the hackers who deploy it receive payment from the victim ( in this case healthcare companies). Cybersecurity in healthcare is now such a major threat that the FBI has issued a stern warning about the occurrence of this kind of practices to the healthcare organizations. Hence, rather than brushing such matters under the carpet, healthcare companies must recognize that without strong security measures, they are putting themselves and their patients at risk.

Staff training and development 

It is not just important for the top management officials to be warned of the importance of cybersecurity in healthcare. All healthcare staff must be informed and trained about the various threats relating to cybersecurity in healthcare. Healthcare companies must focus on providing comprehensive training to the staff on cybersecurity measures and the risks involved if they are not diligent about these measures. They must also be cautioned to report any suspicious e-mail communications or pop-ups to the IT department immediately. Also, this is not a one-time process. Employees must be regularly updated on the new threats and security measures adopted by the organization.

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Third-party audit 

Organizations are often under the misconception that they are doing it all to preserve the privacy and security of their technology. But there are chances of overlooking several critical factors for ensuring cybersecurity in healthcare companies. Hiring a third-party auditor to conduct a comprehensive assessment, test weak points, review staff training and recommend improvement strategies will help healthcare organizations make their records more secure.

Revisit and update protocols

Companies in the healthcare space might have established the security procedures that address how a staff accesses and interacts with the technology in their facilities. In most healthcare companies, the staff can access healthcare data using a multi-character password or a pin.  Implementing techniques such as two-factor identification to further assure privacy is protected adds another level of protection. Also, ensuring that the password is changed at regular intervals is a small step towards ensuring cybersecurity in healthcare companies.


To know more about the importance of cybersecurity in healthcare

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CPG Industry

Market Segmentation Analysis to Boost Profit Potential for a Security Solutions Provider

In 2017, the revenue of the global security solutions market was just over 86 billion U.S. dollars and is forecasted to reach 93 U.S. billion by 2018.

The growth of the global security solutions market is expected to be driven by the necessity to protect individuals as well as properties from rapidly evolving threats, security concerns, increasing consumer awareness, adoption of IoT-based security systems, and the growing demand for the use of wireless technology in security systems. Additionally, as corporate profit levels are on the rise, businesses have additional funds available to spend on security services, and an upsurge in the number of new businesses has led to an expansion in the potential pool of clientele for security solutions.

However, our analysis of the ICT industry shows that the security solutions providers are facing challenges in terms of:

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning: These technologies are expected to be at the epicenter of changes in security robotics, physical security as a service (PSaaS), and biometric solutions. Such technologies are expected to present a number of challenges to the security solutions industry relative to cybersecurity and data protection and true integration of disparate systems. As a result, it is essential for security solutions providers to leverage the technology to improve their service offerings.

DIY systems: DIY systems are expected to multiply in the residential space, and tech-savvy Millennials will influence a larger portion of the light-commercial base, eroding market opportunity for small integrators. As a result, it becomes crucial for integrators to find creative ways to implement DIY systems to stay in business.

Many such factors are compelling security solutions providers across the globe to make use of market segmentation solutions. Market segmentation solutions help firms increase revenues by assisting them to increase their focus on more complete, high-value offerings, with high margins — and avoid segments with the high cost of selling and low margins. IR_RFPThese solutions also help firms reduce risks by providing them with a deeper understanding of targeted customers.

The Business Challenge

  • The client: A leading security solutions provider

The client, a leading security solutions provider with business units spread across the globe, was experiencing a slowdown in their sales, which resulted in high revenue loss. Although they were trained on the features and supplied with effective sales tools, the sales team had little direction or support as to which market segments to pursue and which customers to call first. Moreover, the initial marketing communications programs were also ineffective at generating sales leads as they were too generic and lacked focus.

Want more information about our market segmentation solutions for the ICT industry?

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The Journey

To help the security solutions provider boost profit potential, the market segmentation experts at Infiniti carried out extensive research comprising interviews and discussions with prominent stakeholders in the security solutions market space. The experts also compiled information from a wide array of reliable sources such as industry forums, paid industry databases, and company presentations.

The Solution and the Business Impact

With the help of Infiniti’s market segmentation solution, the security solutions provider developed better strategies to understand the segments and acquired a deeper understanding of the selected customer groupings. Additionally, the client’s sales team had a list of qualified prospects to contact to better manage their territory — and avoid targeting prospects where there was little potential for success. This help the security solutions provider boost their profit potential. 

The Future

The global security solutions industry is growing massively, with both traditional security and cybersecurity professions expected to grow at an average of 18 % through the end of the decade. As the growth continues, and as the need for online and offline security solutions continues to grow, these trends will characterize everything from education to job openings and career paths for security professionals.


A must-read case study for strategy specialists and decision makers looking to develop a better understanding of the security solutions market across the ICT industry

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Transport and logistics

4 Strategies to Combat the Risk of E-commerce Fraud

Ecommerce is one of the most booming industries in the world. In 2018, it is expected that the e-commerce sector will cross the $50 billion mark. Every online retailer in the market dreams of being a successful and well-known brand. However, the scary truth remains that the more popular your brand is, the more likely it is to attract unwanted fraudsters’ attention. Online stores are undoubtedly a more comfortable and easier way to reach out to the target customers. However, security of confidential user information and other forms of ecommerce fraud have always been a significant concern. Although the ecommerce fraud rates and security threats have stabilized in recent times with merchants becoming more vigilant, it is always better to stay prepared for the worst. 

Four Strategies to Reduce Ecommerce Fraud

Automated transactional risk scoring

Online retailers can utilize specific logic and settings to distinguish normal purchase behavior from risky transactions. Ecommerce fraud risk is calculated based on multiple data factors and assigned a numerical score for each transaction. The scores, which serve as relative risk indicators, determine the next course of action for that transaction according to a merchant’s preferred operating procedures.

proposalReal-time categorizing and resolution

Transactions with risk scores exceeding certain thresholds can be determined by either the merchant or the ecommerce fraud solution provider. It can then be automatically placed into different categories for further action. In the usual case, a transaction is either immediately accepted or rejected. However, in case a transaction falls in between these two categories, it can be flagged for manual review.

Post-purchase transaction management

It is important to note that the life cycle of ecommerce fraud management does not begin and end with the purchase attempt. To continue handling ecommerce fraud attempts proactively (as well as to resolve chargebacks and disputes efficiently), merchants need to have a database that can maintain detailed records. This can be used to understand transactions trending over an extended period. Re-presenting and resolving fraudulent chargebacks can be a complicated and time-consuming effort. Databases of detailed records can also help easily extract details about a transaction to help win re-presentment attempts. Also, it is essential for online merchants to evaluate the appropriate level of risk management they can administer internally versus outsource, depending on the budget, staff, and other resources available.

Adjusting fraud rules and parameters

One common pitfall to avoid is the “one and done” mentality. Too often, merchants dedicate a resource to configuring fraud parameters once but fail to ensure that the parameters are still relevant weeks, months, or years later. Fraud trends evolve rapidly, and detection tools need an equally quick response to remain effective. Regardless of which tools merchants are using to prevent ecommerce fraud, those tools should be referenced against reports and analytics on a regular basis. Online retailers must train their staff to react to critical occurrences, such as a sudden attack from a fraud ring in a particular geographical location. These may require significant—but temporary— changes to the existing ecommerce fraud settings.


To know how retailers can reduce ecommerce fraud and other security threats

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IR18

Cyber Security Threats That the Financial Sector Needs to Keep an Eye on

By recognizing the fact that cyber criminals will find a way to exploit vulnerabilities, financial companies can improve the way they deliver their services, manage security risks, and train their employees.

For over half a decade, cyber security issues have been a bane for many industries. But firms operating in the financial sector have been the worst affected due to their inability to keep up with the security requirements of the modern world. Most cyber criminals attack firms operating in the financial sector because that’s where all the money is. However, with banks and other firms quickly learning how to strike a balance between being open and being secure, instances of digital break-ins have reduced significantly. That being said, here are some of the potential cyber security threats that the players in the financial sector should watch out for :IR_Brochure

Third party cyber security risk

Financial sector companies can experience cyber threats from the third parties and the vendors that they work with. Players in the industry must ensure that they have a system to monitor their vendors or other third party providers continuously. Having a continuous monitoring tool will give companies in the financial sector some relief from cyber threats.

Fourth party cyber security risk

Companies in the financial sector do not generally keep a close watch on their fourth parties. When the fourth party is affected by some ransomware attack, there are high chances of the third party, who has the company’s vital information also to be affected.Therefore, it is essential to keep a close watch on fourth party activities also from time to time.

Global business operation risk

For financial sector companies that operate across borders or at an international level, the threat of cybersecurity is greater. So, companies operating at a global scale must be aware of the cyber threats prevalent in the regions that they operate in.

DDOS attacks

Distributed Denial of Service, or DDOS, is the latest buzzword in the financial sector. This form of cyber attack causes a temporary outage of services, affecting the company’s operations.Some common examples of companies affected by these attacks were Amazon and Paypal.


To know more about the risks and threats in the financial sectorAsk an analyst


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Market Intelligence

Top 5 Healthcare Breaches… So Far

Year 2017 is half way through, and internet security breach is perhaps one of the topics which has made the maximum headlines – of course after the usual news on political bickering. Just like the past year, this year too hackers have made the most of the fragile online infrastructure of the healthcare industry. In fact, the healthcare sector has emerged as one of the easiest targets for hacking due to its rather weak and obsolete security systems.

In the past six months, the top five healthcare breaches which shook the medical fraternity throughout the globe are:

1.    ABCD Children’s Pediatrics

The San-Antonio based healthcare center was the target of the recent ransomware attack, which breached data of as many as 55,447 patients. On investigation, it was found that Dharma virus, a variant of the Crisis ransomware, had afflicted the files.

Medical records are often used for dark web dealings, pediatric patient records are high commodities in the dark web. The files which were affected by the recent attack included details like medical records, lab results, social security numbers, as well as procedure technology codes.

2.    Harrisburg Gastroenterology

In March 2017, Harrisburg Gastroenterology noticed suspicious activity on their system which led to the compromise of 93,323 patient records. The incident pointed out the loopholes in the website maintenance, which made the Pennsylvania-based institute to notify its patients regarding the breach in data. Critical diagnostic, clinical, as well as insurance information was compromised in this case.

3.    The National Health Service in England and Scotland

In case of hospitals under The National Health Service (NHS), it was the ransomware variant Wanna Decryptor which breached the private information. Wanna Decryptor is one of the most lethal ransomware variant on the dark web, which is why the damage caused was rather huge. The attack crippled the delivery of healthcare services in at least 16 organizations under the NHS. Patients were warned to avoid certain departments, ambulances were diverted, and worst of all, in many cases the hospital staff were unable to access patient data.

4.    Molina Healthcare

Another major Medicaid and Affordable Care Act insurer, Molina Healthcare, had to shut down its patient portal due to security flaws. With a simple change in the URL, the portal provided easy access to all the medical claims data of patients. The breach made news due to the fact that the basic Security 101 flaw was not taken care of. Thus, even though the exposed data did not contain social security numbers, other details like disease, diagnosis, and other medically critical patient information were compromised.

5.    Airway Oxygen

It was in April, that the ransomware attack hit the home medical equipment supplier Airway Oxygen. In this case, the hacker gained access to the network and hacked it in such a way that the employees were shut out from the system where the personal information of the patients was stored.

All these attacks only highlight the need for the healthcare sector to move towards better security measures and a proactive IT department which keeps a close watch on suspicious cyber activities. The time to act, is now!

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Steps to Keep Your Medical Devices Ransomware Proof

As hospitals in the UK and Indonesia grappled with the Ransomware attack, the susceptibility of medical devices to cyber attacks again made news across the globe. One of the most conservative verticals of the life sciences industry, the manufacturers of medical devices are gradually adopting technology to provide a better diagnosis of health conditions. No doubt digitization has transformed the overall performance of the medical devices, but at the same time, it has exposed the industry to events like hacking, malware, and cyber attacks as well.

Hacking of medical devices – What is at stake?

Most medical devices have electronic records of the patient’s medical history, the medicines prescribed, as well as information on allergies and other vital facts. Any compromise on this data will not only attract huge financial loss for the hospitals but will also cost the very lives of the patients. Medical devices like insulin pumps and pacemakers have higher exposure to hacking and malware attack. The wireless technology employed in these devices make them an easy target for the hackers.

Medical devices manufacturers – Bracing up to the challenge

With more than 100 million personal health records being compromised, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has rolled out a set of guidelines for the device manufacturers as well as healthcare facilities.

As a medical device manufacturer, the FDA recommends that:

  1. The medical device inventory, change management systems, and other networked servers and workstations are monitored closely
  2. All the devices which are running on unpatched version of Windows should be upgraded to the relevant security patched version of the Windows
  3. Conducting vulnerability scans on a regular basis. Though not a foolproof procedure, vulnerability scans do help in identifying devices which are liable to malware attack
  4. Involving the third-party managers and medical device vendors in the risk management process
  5. Prioritizing patches for medical devices and involving the IT department to update the affected medical devices

Lastly, the FDA also wants medical device manufacturers to build response mechanism to handle incidents of cyber attack and see to it that the other devices and medical facilities do not get infected.

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Medical Devices Security: New Challenge in the Life Sciences Industry

Cyber criminals are not just looking out for your bank and credit card details alone. In fact, there are good chances that your medical devices might get hacked as well. Hacking of medical devices is no longer just a chapter of some popular sci-fi novel; rather it has emerged as a growing concern for all the stakeholders in the healthcare industry. The situation has turned critical with the recent Wannacry ransomware affecting the British healthcare services.

The Internet of Medical Devices

The evolution of wireless technology has hugely influenced medical technology as well. No doubt mHealth and networked medical devices have transformed the delivery of medical services, however it has also exposed the entire medical system to cyber attacks as well. Apart from issues related to a patient’s safety, hacked medical devices can be used for identity theft, tax frauds, as well as buying medications which can be later sold on the dark web.

Complex software and network capabilities have transformed medical equipment into sophisticated devices. The need of the hour is to build a strong and secure network which will protect the equipment from hacking and other cyber malpractices.

Medical device security: A shared responsibility of every stakeholder

The onus of medical device cyber security falls on every stakeholder within the industry. Right from device manufacturers, healthcare providers, regulators, to the patients – each and every one of them need to take essential steps to avoid cyber attacks.

For instance, device manufacturers should work towards:

  1. Platform and server hardening
  2. Foolproof inscription and code-signing
  3. Protecting manufacturing integrity

Providers of healthcare services, on the other hand, have to work towards holistic asset management, risk mitigation, and detection of anomalies in their network.

Cyber proofing medical devices: The only way ahead

Apart from issuing several alerts, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released an industry guidance document titled Postmarket Management of Cybersecurity in Medical Devices. This guide enables the manufacturers to identify issues during the design and development of the devices. Similarly, regulations like HIPAA and the ISO/IEC 80001 series of standards provide frameworks which need to be compiled by medical device manufacturers.

Lastly, it is important that serious thought is given to the lifecycle of medical equipment and the entire procurement process of these devices. Transparent procurement along with diligent contract and lifecycle management is sure to enhance the security standards of the medical devices.

Infiniti Research offers healthcare intelligence solutions to help clients tackle key challenges in the healthcare industry