US officials warn of China-backed cyberattacks targeting healthcare: 7 tips to protect your hospital

Federal officials warned businesses that hackers backed by the Chinese government are aggressively targeting medical institutions to steal data, personally identifiable information and emerging technologies.

Chinese hackers attempt to mask their activities by using virtual private servers and common open-source or commercial penetration tools. China-backed hackers consistently launch attacks on American networks after a public disclosure has been released to businesses disclosing vulnerabilities, a July 19 news release said.

Here are seven guidelines to protect your organization against Chinese hackers:

  1. Federal officials advise hospitals to patch critical vulnerabilities immediately.

  2. Consider implementing a patch management program that allows patches to be addressed timely and thoroughly.

  3. Enhance monitoring of network traffic, email and endpoint systems. Consistently review signatures to monitor for phishing themes. Adjust email rules based on network findings.

  4. Ensure email logs allow for the maximum detection capabilities possible.

  5. Implement antivirus software and endpoint protection capabilities to prevent malicious files from deploying.

  6. Launch a network intrusion detection system to prevent access to suspicious websites.

  7. Require multifactor authentication for remote access to networks in case credentials have been compromised.

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