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Heartbleed Not Only Reason For Health Systems Breach
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User Rank: Ninja
8/21/2014 | 8:47:12 AM
What we do not know yet.
I am not surprised by this news. 
I am also not surprised by the lack of defense-in-depth regarding security protocols and controls. 
At this point, the only remaining bit of information I am interested in is how they discovered the breach.  Was it an internal audit?  Was it a spike in network activity?

I am developing particularly thick shell regarding information breaches.  Not in reaction, but in preparation.  I believe there are many more breach reports to come from all parts of the world and all industries.  As the world very... very slowly becomes more security conscious, organizations are standing up their security programs.  As these security programs begin to put in basic security controls, information from those controls will, if they are working correctly, identify more breaches.  In more mature security programs, there are likely areas where there are weaknesses in the capability to identify breaches as soon as possible.

The only question that remains is in how transparent the organization leadership is in notifying share holders, law or regulatory entities, and the general public when a breach is identified.  This is likely going to be an ongoing debate for years to come.

Knowing how the breach occurred is important, but it is also important to learn specifics about how the victim discovered the breach in the first place.  That information can be helpful to other organizations that are still developing their security programs.  The same information can also be helpful for more mature security programs to engage new initiatives to improve relevant controls.
User Rank: Ninja
8/21/2014 | 8:36:48 AM
Re: Communication Gap
Speaking as someone from a Healthcare Information Security Team, these concerns are quite valid. But there are other justifications as to why it might be difficult for some healthcare organizations to incorporate certain security measures. From my organizations configuration we monitor traffic ingress and egress points, so exfiltration would have been picked up. HIPAA is not an option and for hospitals that do not want to receive large fines from regulatory agents its not an option either.

There is segmentation in healthcare organizations but I speak of from the corporate side and this tends to be detrimental. The segmentation between clinical corporate and computer services corporate. Most of the time clincial will outweigh in a healthcare organization, especially in a non-profit healthcare organization, because the #1 reason for business is patient care. I believe thats something that we should not lose sight of.

We followed the remediation steps denoted in this article and more. But it is difficult when there are other projects going on to get other teams on board especially when functionality is their main objective. The lesson to this last point is that security teams need to follow up. Other scans need to be performed after to ensure that nothing was missed. That being said healthcare is behind, especially the non-profits. What methods have other healthcare organizations done, with similar issues, to combat the latency gap of healthcare?
Robert McDougal
Robert McDougal,
User Rank: Ninja
8/20/2014 | 6:11:45 PM
Re: Communication Gap
@Diana, you are obviously a veteran of the healthcare information security wars.  While there are some healthcare organizations which take information security seriously, the overwhelming majority view HIPAA as either a set of recomendations or a checkbox regulation.  To be honest, they are stuck in the 90's.  Hopefully this will wake some of them up.
User Rank: Moderator
8/20/2014 | 5:03:32 PM
Communication Gap
All too often, healthcare's security teams -- if there even is a dedicated security team -- cannot fully engage top leadership about the risks their organization runs if it doesn't get the right tools and resources. Sadly, the fact that CHS' stock continues to rise after this breach does little to help CSOs and their teams.
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