Cybercrime , Fraud Management & Cybercrime , Ransomware

CISA: Why Healthcare Is No Longer Off-Limits for Attackers

CISA Deputy Director Nitin Natarajan Discusses Threats During HIMSS Conference
CISA: Why Healthcare Is No Longer Off-Limits for Attackers
Nitin Natarajan, deputy director, CISA

Healthcare entities of all types and sizes could be the next targets of major cybersecurity attacks, said Nitin Natarajan, deputy director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

"In the past, when it came to warfare, healthcare was always protected. You never bombed the tent that had the Red Cross on it. You never impacted healthcare because it was protected, neutral space," Natarajan told Information Security Media Group on Monday during the opening day of the 2023 Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society Global Health Conference and Exhibition in Chicago.

Today, with healthcare facing threats including ransomware, distributed denial-of-service attacks and potential compromises of medical devices, CEOs and boards need to understand the risks. "We must increase that awareness," he said.

In this interview with ISMG (click audio link below photo), Natarajan discusses:

  • The increasing complexity of ransomware and other attacks on the healthcare sector, and the collaborative work the government and the private sector are doing to identify, notify and remediate vulnerabilities being exploited by threat actors across the world;
  • The impact of the Biden administration's national cybersecurity strategy on critical infrastructure sectors including healthcare;
  • CISA's efforts focused on helping to secure the healthcare sector.

Natarajan, who was appointed deputy director of CISA in February 2021, previously served in a variety of public and private sector positions spanning over 30 years. Most recently, he worked as a consulting firm executive, providing subject matter expertise on a variety of national security topics. Natarajan also held a number of federal government roles, including deputy assistant administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, director of critical infrastructure policy at the White House/National Security Council, and director at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, overseeing healthcare and public health programs.

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