Cedars-Sinai CISO Chris Joerg on the inevitability of cyberattacks & what to do in the aftermath

Chris Joerg, chief information security officer at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, discusses the importance of hospital data protection and what to do when there’s a breach in security.

Q: What would you say is the No.1 threat to hospital cybersecurity today?

Chris Joerg: Users being phished – clicking a malicious link with zero-day malware.

Q: What advice would you give to other hospital CISOs or CIOs to get hospital staff on the same page in the aftermath of a cyberattack?

CJ: A cyberattack is not a question of if, but when. Make sure you have a robust and tested cyber incident response plan, cybersecurity insurance and the folks who respond to these incidents for a living are on retainer and speed dial.

Q: What do you consider to be the most important aspect in hospital data protection?

CJ: It’s not sexy or perfect, but keeping systems patched with the latest security updates can help you out run the proverbial hacker "bear." Also, you need to know what you have in order to secure it. Get a handle on and understand all the devices on the network, especially what medical and IoT [internet of things] devices are connected.

Q: What do you see as the next big cybersecurity threat hospitals should look out for?

CJ: New forms of ransomware like doxware that encrypt data on infected systems and also exfiltrate data for potential public exposure or extortion purposes.

To learn more about hospital and health system cybersecurity, as well as the key trends for CISOs, register for the Becker's Hospital Review 4th Annual Health IT + Revenue Cycle Conference Sept. 19-22, 2018 in Chicago. Click here to learn more and register.


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