In light of the increased frequency of cyber attacks against health care institutions in the United States and around the globe, the recent announcement from U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) regarding the launch of a dedicated cybers ecurity center gives hope to security practitioners in this sector that they will soon be able to improve their cyber resilience against the escalating cyber threats.
The Health Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (HCCIC), scheduled to reach initial operating capability before the end of June, is modeled on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center. Christopher Wlaschin, the CISO at the U.S. HHS, identified the key goals of the HCCIC as trying to “reduce the noise about cyber threats in the health care industry” and to “improve the ability of health care institutions to protect against cyber attacks.”
Mobile Health Applications and Growing Ransomware Attacks Raise Concerns
The imputes for this center are twofold: first, the exploding rate of ransomware attacks on health care organizations in recent years, and second, the increased exposure to cyber attacks brought about by the growing adoption of mobile health applications. Together these developments have pushed the government to take more decisive action to help the health care sector build more effective cyber resilience systems.
Information Sharing and Best Practices
Information collaboration and analysis of cyber threat intelligence will be at the forefront of the activities undertaken by the new center. Sharing cyber threat intelligence within an industry sector and between private companies and authorities is a significant part of overall efforts for improving the preparedness of an organization to promptly and effectively respond to cyber incidents. However, this sharing of intelligence can often also create a torrent of noise, rendering it difficult for security practitioners to discern credible information on what actually constitutes a potential threat to the cyber security of their organization. Antithetically, unfiltered intelligence sharing can actually prevent a faster and more effective response.
For this reason, organizations require a programmatic solution to help them share only the essential information related to cyber threats, past and current, and the cyber security events they have already faced. The prescribed solution is an automation and orchestration platform that has the built-in capability to integrate with threat intelligence sharing platforms such as STIX, TAXII or Splunk, to name a few. This customizable platform can enable organizations within the health care sector to: share operational intelligence related to cyber security events in a secure and efficient manner; eliminate the risk of sharing any confidential company or patient data; and, cut out the noise from irrelevant information that so plagues intelligence sharing today.
In this new reality, where new and ever more sophisticated threats loom large on the horizon, health care organizations that choose to implement a cyber incident response platform with these built-in threat intelligence capabilities will do so knowing they have taken a big step forward to ensuring the protection of valuable business information, and confidential and sensitive patient data.
In many aspects, cyber crimes are similar to other, more traditional types of crimes. Forensic investigation and analysis of the evidence recovered at the crime scene are among the aspects that cyber attacks have in common with other crimes. These are some of the key components of a fast and effective solution to a crime of any type, but are especially important when it comes to cyber attacks. Being able to gather evidence and various data related to a cyber security event is crucial for detecting and preventing future incidents. Considering that government agencies, organizations, and businesses across many industries around the world are facing a growing threat of cyber attacks, sharing threat intelligence is becoming an increasingly important part of the global efforts for successfully tackling cyber crime.
Incident Response Platforms with Threat Intelligence Sharing Capabilities
Threat intelligence sharing is a major part of the broader cyber-security incident response process, and organizations are advised to pay special attention to it. Among other things, this means that when they start shopping around for a cyber incident response platform, it’s recommended that they look for a platform that can provide this capability, because trying to share cyber threat intelligence through other means can add an unwanted burden to their cyber-security teams and incur substantial costs.
There are a lot of cyber-incident response platforms that support various threat intelligence sharing tools and mechanisms, including TAXII, STIX, Splunk, QRadar, and ThreatConnect, presenting a fast and simple method for sharing threat information among organizations.
These types of platforms allow you to notify other organizations, cyber threat analysts, threat sharing communities, and everyone involved with cyber defense, of every cyber security incident, sharing with them very important information, such as where a given attack has come from, attack patterns, and possibly identification of the attackers, among others.
Sharing Threat Intelligence Increases Response Plan Effectiveness
Sharing intelligence often proves to be crucial to resolving cyber incidents as fast as possible and containing the damage after an incident occurs. It can also help predict and detect future incidents, allowing organizations to prepare and adjust their cyber defense accordingly and take appropriate actions to mitigate the potential risks.
Ultimately, sharing threat intelligence can help lead to the development of more advanced incident response platforms and the creation of more effective response plans, further deterring cyber attackers and preventing breaches.
In my role as VP of Services at DFLabs, I get the opportunity to speak to stakeholders at every level pertaining to concerns they have about their current cyber incident response processes and how they are currently dealing with the challenges. From the analyst who deals with an ever-increasing number of alerts to the CISO who is constantly evaluating how best to apply limited funds and personnel, they all have one overwhelming concern; how best to build what they have into what is needed to successfully handle the evolving threats to data security.
Organizations typically will leverage the resources they currently possess. Spreadsheets become incident trackers. Ticketing and project management applications become investigation coordination repositories. Governance, risk and compliance software becomes the reporting platform. While the ROI for leveraging existing resources can’t be understated, the issue quickly becomes one of scalability. These systems comprised of patchwork applications that are unable to work together symbiotically are quickly outgrown.
We can all agree that no single solution is the magic bullet that will solve all incident response challenges. Any progress will begin with a centralized incident response orchestration platform that acts as a force multiplier for your existing personnel and resources. You wouldn’t use a spoon to dig a 6-foot hole when there are tools designed to dig the hole that are more efficient and effective. This platform should include at a minimum:
- A solid platform of cyber incident management –A cost-effective incident management platform designed for each stage of the incident response life cycle is the foundation for immediate and long-term success and organizational expansion. A successful platform will be able to incorporate your existing infrastructure and personnel and increase their capabilities. It should not require hiring new personnel or expensive professional services to be effective.
- Actionable intelligence – Intelligence feeds such as TAXII or other feeds that support STIX can add additional information that promotes informed decision making during each stage of the incident response life cycle.
- Seamless integration with existing and future technologies – To expand with customer and infrastructure needs, an orchestration platform must be able to not only leverage existing technologies but offer the capability to expand for future integrations as needed.
- True incident orchestration – Provides the ability to utilize Supervised Active Intelligence™ (SAI), to make informed decisions at each stage of the incident response life cycle while providing a 360-degree view of the incident. This includes critical incident enrichment data with a choice of Human to Machine and/or Machine to Machine actions with consistent, defendable, results across a variety of incident response scenarios.
At DFLabs we have integrated these features and more to give stakeholders the tools they require, built on a platform that gives them the confidence they need. DFLabs’ IncMan® is ranked as one of the most innovated incident response orchestration platform that provides the same unparalleled value to the incident responder as it does to the CISO. Our advanced technology empowers our customers to receive, respond and remediate cyber incidents at a total cost of ownership unavailable elsewhere.
If you’re interested in seeing how we can work together to grow your incident response capabilities while keeping an eye on the ROI bottom line, visit us at https://www.DFLabs.com and schedule a demonstration of how we can utilize what you already have and make it better.