The hospital, impacted by a ransomware attack in 2021, is an alarming example of the existential threats faced by small and rural healthcare facilities when targeted by cyber extortionists. This incident stresses the urgency of proactive cyber risk management.
The Importance of Patching
The story of St. Margaret’s Health underscores the criticality of timely and effective patching. A consistent patching routine is a proactive defense measure against cyber threats, essentially sealing off potential entry points that could be exploited by ransomware actors.
However, patching should not be a random exercise. Instead, it should be prioritized based on the severity and exploitability of vulnerabilities. For instance, if a vulnerability appears on CISA’s KEV list, it must be remediated before others.
Leverage Modern Cybersecurity Tools
Modern cybersecurity tools can significantly enhance your organization’s defensive capabilities. CISA offers a wealth of free tools like the Cyber Hygiene Scanning (CyHy) and Cyber Essentials that are instrumental in detecting vulnerabilities and strengthening defenses.
Additionally, solutions like Action1’s patch management solution can significantly simplify patching and prioritization. By automating these processes, Action1 ensures that no critical vulnerability goes unpatched.
The closure of St. Margaret’s Health is a somber reminder of the existential threats that ransomware poses to organizations, especially those in the healthcare sector. Prioritizing patching and taking advantage of modern cybersecurity tools are essential steps towards mitigating these risks. Remember, in the face of cyber threats, proactive defense is our best offense.