Experts Urge Healthcare, Public Health Entities to Heed US Agency Warnings

Below is an except from a January 12, 2022 article in Healthcare InfoSecurity containing a quote from Health-ISAC President and CEO Denise Anderson.

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Healthcare and public health sector entities must heed the warnings this week by federal authorities of Russian state-sponsored cyberthreats to critical infrastructure organizations, some experts say, pointing out the high stakes of attacks, especially during the pandemic.


On Tuesday, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the National Security Agency and the FBI released a joint advisory warning that Russian-backed advanced persistent threat actors are leveraging certain tactics, techniques and procedures to infiltrate critical infrastructure (see: US Warns of Russia-Backed Threat to Critical Infrastructure).

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center on Tuesday also issued its own advisory, alerting the healthcare and public health sector to the joint warning from CISA, the NSA and the FBI.

Rising Tensions

It is difficult to predict what the effects of rising political tensions with Russia – such as in its conflict with Ukraine – may be, but Russia “is known to have sophisticated cyber capabilities,” says Denise Anderson, President and CEO of the Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center.

“Organizations should always be mindful of geopolitical events – especially if they have operations in the region but even if they don’t,” she says.

The Petya/NotPetya attacks in 2017, for example, were not targeted at healthcare, but had huge global financial and operational impacts, she says. “Healthcare organizations should be monitoring the situation and looking at their business continuity plans to ensure their operations are resilient in case there is fallout.”


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