Synopsys Comments on Increased Cyberattacks in Healthcare

Cyber-Attacks on Hospital Systems Show That Protecting Human Health Is a Critical Priority Says Tim Mackey, Synopsys Software Integrity Group

The healthcare industry is experiencing a rise in cyber attacks that threaten patient safety and confidentiality, as well as important research and technological developments. 

Leading global analysts and researchers Omdia reported that healthcare was attacked more than any other sector between January and September 2023, including more than governments.

"Cyber-attacks on hospital systems and health delivery organisations are a reflection of the reality that protecting human health represents a critical priority for any community,” shares Tim Mackey, Head of Software Supply Chain Risk Strategy at the Synopsys Software Integrity Group.

“Fortunately, health systems are experts in patient care and prioritise positive health outcomes. However, health data is among the most sensitive data available to a cybercriminal. That data is highly personal, difficult to correct if tampered with, and complications resulting from inaccurate data are quite severe.”

Synopsys is a technology specialist working at the forefront of ‘Smart Everything’ with the world’s most advanced technologies for chip design, verification, IP integration, and software security and quality testing. With innovation at its heart, Synopsys supports its customers' journey from silicon to software to enable the development and digitisation of tomorrow. 

Protecting against cyber attacks in healthcare 

The most common cyber breaches in healthcare are: 

  • Hacking
  • Supply chain attacks
  • Phishing — cyber criminals posing as legitimate individuals or organisations
  • Ransomware
  •  Malware — malicious software encrypts data, requiring a ransom to unlock it

“To protect against the impact of a cyber-attack would require IT resourcing that arguably might be better spent on patient care,” Mackey continues.

“Despite this, principles like zero-trust networking can limit the scope of damage in the face of an attack, while detailed cybersecurity reviews of potential vendors and medical device manufacturers can identify weak cybersecurity practices within complex supply chains."

Mackey has over 15 years of experience with mission critical systems design, open source governance, data privacy and application security experience. He joined Black Duck — which was later acquired by Synopsys — in 2016, having previously spent a decade at Citrix Systems. His background is in electrical engineering, having gained his degree from Concordia University. 


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