Cybersecurity and healthcare: a key issue for the sector

In healthcare institutions, digital transformation continues, improving care and patient management. However, this increased dependence on IT also brings its own risks. Stormshield supports these changes, transforming hospitals into connected and secure spaces.

Human risk, the key concern of the medical sector

The activities of healthcare institutions are of a vital nature. In case of failure, the consequences can be disastrous: and inability to provide care or to produce medicines, but also the leakage, loss or falsification of samples or health data. The performance and availability of IT networks in our healthcare systems is all the more important as patients' lives often depend on the information that circulates within them.

Given the vital importance of the medical sector, cyber criminals are not hesitating to take advantage of the weaknesses created by the health crisis or the loopholes created by the digital transformation of the sector. With our whitepaper, immerse yourself in a state of the art of the issue of cybersecurity in healthcare institutions.


Ensure healthcare service availability

The need for rapid action

The pace of the health sector is driven by emergencies. It therefore requires a rapid reaction in the event of an incident, in conjunction with the hospital's biomedical equipment, its Building Management System (BMS) or its Centralized Technical Management System (CTMS). This can be facilitated through the provision of secure remote access to technicians or third-party service providers through mobile SSL or IPSec VPNs and via the authentication of users for network data flows. These two measures are also useful for increasing the use of remote maintenance, but also to ensure the secure growth of telemedicine.

They are an integral part of the functionality of our Stormshield Network Security (SNS) firewall range. The products in this range are certified to the highest European level, and also guarantee continuity and availability of services thanks to their bypass functionality and intrusion prevention system.

Strong physical constraints

Electromagnetic waves from medical imaging techniques (ultrasound, X-rays, scans), impacts from frequent handling of equipment, handling in emergency situations... physical constraints in a hospital are everywhere. This context is new and more complex than traditional IT environments, requiring the installation of cybersecurity elements in close physical proximity to the equipment to be protected, without an IT rack.

Our ruggedised industrial firewalls are designed for these constrained environments, and are easy to mount in electrical cabinets.

Mandatory regulatory constraints

Because a cyber attack can literally be a matter of life and death in healthcare, organisations in the sector are governed by a series of cyber rules and standards. In addition to the national level, these organisations must comply with European cybersecurity regulations such as the NIS & NIS2 Directives, the RGPD or the Cybersecurity Act. Other standards (such as Common Criteria EAL3+ & EAL4+ or the ISO/IEC 27000 series for example) are not mandatory under current legislation but help to improve the level of cybersecurity of healthcare companies.

Stormshield products help organisations to comply with these requirements by improving the cyber resilience of their infrastructure. For example, Stormshield Network Security and Stormshield Endpoint Security products enable Essential Service Operators (OESs) to deploy security solutions that improve the level of protection for their critical and mission-critical information systems. For example, Stormshield Network Security firewalls provide network segmentation, remote access security, user authentication and vulnerability management. For more information on how Stormshield products comply with healthcare cyber regulations, please see our dedicated document.

What is the cyber attack surface for a hospital? Cyber risks are not uniform, and today's threats can come from a number of different vectors.

Network, human, software or physical, discover the vectors of cyber risk in the hospital environment with this interactive platform.

Protecting sensitive and vital health data

Data exchanges between the various sites that make up our healthcare ecosystem (analysis laboratories, hospitals belonging to the same group, equipment/medicine production plants, etc.) are continuous, and the data in question extremely sensitive. Test results, prescriptions in patient files, drug manufacturing secrets... the information being exchanged is not trivial. And it's not just a question of confidentiality or medical secrecy. To be sure of making the right diagnosis and administering the right dosage, health professionals need to have confidence in the integrity of the information on which they base the decision.

To protect patient data during exchanges, the Stormshield Network Security (SNS) solution enables the creation of encryption tunnels via virtual private networks (VPN).

Getting to grips with a unique set of computer assets

There is much more overlap between IT and operational infrastructure in the medical world than there is in other sectors. On average, a dozen smart medical objects are found in an intensive care unit. The advent of this Internet of Things, and of an operational infrastructure that is increasingly connected to the IT network, is contributing – along with the use of integrated and approved systems – to the development of hospital facilities. In order to achieve this without difficulty, it is essential to segment these networks in order to strengthen their security, but without modifying the systems in order to avoid “breaking” their approval.

For this reason, our Stormshield Network Security (SNS) range provides NAT network functions that are built into the security equipment. SNS also provides in-depth contextual analysis of electronic and operational protocols to prevent both known and unknown attacks. This is complemented by granular control of authorised messages and the use of custom signatures, as well as protected user browsing through URL and application filtering.

With the Stormshield XDR offering, effectively combine Stormshield solutions with each other. Be notified of incidents based on analyses of your endpoints, networks, web files and emails before managing the response with your various security products, driven by centralised incident management. This is the ideal combination for alerting you in real time and managing a rapid, long-term response on both the network and endpoints.

The other characteristic of medical sector IT assets is their wide geographical distribution: they are sometimes spread out over different areas of the hospital, between several buildings, or even between different geographical locations in the case of regional hospital groups like in France.

To easily deploy and manage security equipment in such large infrastructures, we have designed the Stormshield Management Center (SMC) centralised management solution, which enables the management of VPNs and filtering, among other things.

With Stormshield, give your business cyber-serenity. Our responsive teams identify the needs of your communication network and provide you with the most effective solutions.