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Current State of Cyber Security in Healthcare

Security Vulnerabilities and Threats

Cyber security attacks are in rise in the healthcare sector (Sectra 2022). This is a concern for different parties and countries especially with the huge pressure on this industry due to the pandemic.

Cyber attacks have started attracting attention of health professionals and regulatory bodies few years ago. The impact, for example, of the WannaCry ransomware attack that infiltrated the NHS in 2017 was significant (Digitalhealth, 2021).In the UK, Attention was seriously given to the different threats that continue to be identified. NHS Digital (NHS Digital, 2022) issue several security alerts to health care industry. They monitor and protect systems across the NHS and help lead the cyber response.

National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) also identify the threats that are impacting the healthcare industry in an annual review from UK. (NCSC 2020)

Based on the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Office for Civil Rights, 70% of malware attacks in 2019 targeted healthcare providers (NIST, OCR 2019).

Additionally, the Healthcare and Public Health Sector Coordinating Councils found that data breach cost around $2.2 million (HPH, 2017).

In your assignment, you need to explore the current state of cyber security for health care e.g. hospital, clinic, lab,

You are free to choose ANY ONE of the following topics for your report:

Analysis of Ransomware attacks in practice 

Analysis of recent data breaches in practice 

Analysis of online financial scams in practice 

Analysis of critical infrastructure security issues 

Analysis of insider threats in practice

You can also suggest your own topic, which is in line with the ILOs, but it must be approved by the unit leader in advance. 

Please prepare a 3000-word (excluding references, tables, figures and diagrams) report with the following structure:

1. Introduction (indicative length, 250 words): Lay out the context, the objectives of the assignment and present your chosen topic.

2. Security vulnerabilities and threats (indicative length, 750 words):Highlight and describe the security vulnerabilities and threats that exist in the system of the topic you considered.

3. Techniques to attack (indicative length, 750 words):Identify technologies, tools and practices cybercriminals use to implement the attack(s). In addition, you should identify the key factors that influence the success of the attacks.

4. Critical analysis of the existing solutions for a threat (indicative length, 750 words):Identify technologies, tools and practices system or organization uses them defending against potential attacks in the context of the selected threat you have chosen. You should also contribute with your own opinion and take on the subject by highlighting the existing drawbacks and proposing the possible enhancement of the existing solution(s). Your criticism and arguments should be supported by the literature. This suggests that you should consult and cite sources to back up your arguments.

5. Challenges in the future (indicative length, 500 words): highlight and describe the key challenges in implementing the current existing solutions in the next few years, considering more data, devices, and users in the  future.

You are required to use relevant and recent journal, conference papers or books to support your arguments. Extensive use should be made of refereed academic journal papers where appropriate. Where other sources are used, there should be identifiable trust, such as noted organisations or individuals.

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