The Covid-19 pandemic is putting an enormous amount of strain on the healthcare sector as they fight to combat the virus. Unfortunately, the industry is also having to fight back cyberattackers who are leveraging the situation for monetary gain, thankfully a range of cybersecurity firms have clubbed together to safeguard the sector.
An alliance of firms, which includes ITC Secure, IronNet, Haven Cyber Technologies, Enveil, 4iQ and Blue Cedar, has been established by C5 Capital, a specialist investment firm, with the specific goal of safeguarding the healthcare sector during the Covid-19 crisis.
According to the alliance, there has been an unprecedented number of cyberattacks against the healthcare sector since the emergence of Covid-19, adding an additional threat level to overburdened hospitals, clinics and research facilities. It noted a 150% increase in healthcare cyberattacks in the last two months, such as phishing emails pretending to be from the World Health Organisation (WHO), and ransomware.
Its first active response is the launch of the Collective Cyber Defence for Healthcare initiative under which C5 will provide free access for hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities in the UK and Europe to its IronDome system, the industry's first collective crowd sourcing defence product which is based on IronNet's collective defence solution. It will be managed by ITC Secure's 24/7 Security Operations Centre (SOC) based in London.
Through its existing networks, the industry alliance is already providing access to IronDome for leading healthcare organisations working at the forefront of the epidemic.
The initiative will help ensure hospitals and clinics protect their internal systems and databases for patients, healthcare workers and volunteers. It will also enable pharmaceutical research and development facilities to safeguard their work while developing a vaccine to fight the Covid-19 virus both safely and efficiently.
IronDome takes the behavioural intelligence derived from cyber anomalies and shares it across an industry sector to deliver machine-speed visibility of potential threat campaigns. Using IronDome, security analysts with shared interests can work together in near-real-time to collaboratively defend their data.
Andre Pienaar, founder, C5 Capital said, "Healthcare companies and organisations are facing growing threats, as seen with the NHS attacks in 2017. Now with the Covid-19 crisis they are facing an unprecedented assault from cyberattacks. This initiative takes immediate action in helping to protect health services in the UK and Europe in the best way possible, with the knowledge of some of the world's best cybersecurity experts."
Sir Iain Lobban, C5 Investment Committee member and former Director of GCHQ, said, "Cyber criminals are opportunity-driven: they won't waste a crisis. Creating this alliance of security professionals will help protect hard-pressed health services at this time of vulnerability."
Paddy McGuinness, C5 Strategic Partner and former UK Deputy National Security Adviser for Intelligence, Security and Resilience, commented, "With the dramatic spread of Covid-19 a coordinated approach to the crisis is crucial. The cybersecurity industry has a key role to play, and this initiative addresses a growing and immediate issue. We are proud to be joining forces with a host of excellent cybersecurity companies to help tackle this problem within healthcare."