One of the most important aspects of healthcare reform is an emphasis on preventative care, which makes the recent cyberattack on Singapore’s largest group of healthcare institutions, SingHealth, somewhat ironic. Unfortunately, SingHealth couldn’t prevent an attacker from stealing the personal information of 1.5 million patients, including the Singapore Prime Minister.

 As of now, there’s no clear insight into how the attack happened. SingHealth authorities claim that the cyberattack was deliberate, targeted, and well-planned. Inferring from the tactics, techniques, and procedures used in this attack, Trustwave’s SpiderLabs team affirmed that it was an advanced persistent threat (APT), with the motive to gain and maintain ongoing access to the network to monitor and steal data rather than inflict damage to the network. From the available information, it’s likely that the hacker used cross-site scripting (XSS) or social engineering techniques to infiltrate an internet-facing computer. From there, the cybercriminal may have leveraged SMB vulnerabilities to gain access to the SingHealth’s database.

 Cyberattackers are evolving, but many enterprises are still myopic over their network perimeters. This gives cybercriminals plenty of leeway to breach any security loopholes that exist. Since zero-day exploits are rare, most of wide-spread cyberattacks exploit previously disclosed vulnerabilities. That’s why every enterprise should follow certain best practices to mitigate security breaches, such as:

  • Enforcing complex and secure password management policies.

  • Configuring firewall and antivirus tools.

  • Staying up to date with the latest security patches.

  • Keeping an eye out for phishing emails and websites.

  • Restricting access by defining user privileges.

  • Monitoring network endpoints incessantly and enforcing compliance.

 The most crucial among these best practices is patch management. Many organizations don’t use the latest technology and don’t see as many updates for their computers, but that doesn’t mean updates for these older machines should be ignored. Systems running on outdated software and operating systems are ripe targets for cybercriminals. Often, it’s hard for organizations to scrutinize every single computer in their network but a single vulnerable system has the potential to threaten the security of the entire network. Patch Manger Plus, our automated patching solution, keeps your network patched around the clock with very little intervention required from users. Patch Manager Plus monitors the network incessantly for vulnerable endpoints, downloads patches to fix vulnerabilities, tests them for stability, and deploys them promptly to maintain a network free from vulnerabilities.

 Although it’s impossible to completely prevent cyberattacks, with the right set of tools like Patch Manager Plus at your disposal, you can eliminate all known vulnerabilities and greatly lower your chances of experiencing a preventable breach.

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