multifactor

Cloud to Streamline Security for Strategic Growth

As the technology director at Inspira Health Network, François Bodhuin and his staff have their work cut out for them, as they strive to support the organization’s strategic growth, stay on top of technology needs and keep patient data secure.

The New Jersey-based organization, in fact, is constantly looking to expand. “We are a medium-sized system, but we are very active in our expansion plans,” Bodhuin said, noting that the system now has more than 150 service locations in five counties. The health network is currently building a new hospital, adding a two- story patient tower to one of its existing hospitals, expanding its behavioral health program, renovating a satellite ER, recently opened a senior emergency department and purchased a regional medical transport company.

In addition, the Inspira technology department has developed an app to better serve all the patients that will flow into this continually growing health system. The app enables patients to request appointments, get directions to facilities, access a list of providers, view emergency department and urgent care wait times, pay bills and even participate in virtual visits.

So, it made perfect sense for Inspira to move its compliance management software to the cloud when FairWarning introduced a cloud-based managed shared services solution that works to ensure all data is secure by continually monitoring user activity and sending out alerts for any suspicious actions. After all, the health system had already moved a variety of systems to the cloud including its electronic health records, security information and event management (SIEM) and wound care solutions, and has experienced myriad benefits by doing so.

“The cloud saves costs; because you are getting a virtual server, the hardware itself costs less,” he said. In addition, when a managed services provider hosts a solution in the cloud, the healthcare organization does not incur on-boarding or ongoing training costs.

By hosting the compliance solution in the cloud under a managed services arrangement, Inspira will be positioned to:

Take advantage of a team of privacy and security experts. “The team concept to me is a key with managed services. We’re always being asked to work more efficiently. In this case, we will be able to really do that because we will have a team of experts that is performing the function,” Bodhuin said. “Because they’re experts, they know when a complaint is significant. They know when an alert is significant. They know when to ask for an investigation.” In addition, because these experts are well versed in the compliance solution, the learning curve that is typically associated with implementing a new solution is eliminated.

Reduce the need to search for IT staff. Hiring experienced, qualified IT staff is a challenge for all healthcare organizations. “In South Jersey, it is especially difficult to attract people to work in security and privacy. [With managed services], we don’t have to search for IT staff and we won’t have any onboarding costs. All that is built-in to our fees,” he said.

Maintain flexibility. With a managed solution in the cloud, it will be easy for Inspira to grow – as the organization does not need to add staff but can instead simply adjust the services agreement to meet evolving needs.

More readily deal with infrastructure challenges. With managed services, Inspira staff do not need to “worry about patching or managing the server,” he said. In addition, staff don’t need to be concerned with “upgrading the hardware, or the software . . . or worry about disaster recovery,” something that traditionally generates significant downtime, according to Bodhuin.

Leverage the experiences of many. Managed services providers work with a variety of organizations making it possible to “bring many best practices to the table,” which is difficult to do when hosting and maintaining systems internally, Bodhuin noted.

Save considerable time. “There's a lot of daily work that, all of a sudden, you don't have to do because it’s being done by the managed service. In privacy and security, we expect to regain about one to two hours a day for each analyst,” he said. “Now, they can focus their time on responding to issues that are reported to them. All that saved time can be allocated to another function.”

Doing managed services right

While Bodhuin expects to realize these benefits when moving the compliance software to the cloud, his past experience with managed services has provided a litany of lessons learned. More specifically, he knows that to successfully work with a managed services provider requires:

  • Defining expectations explicitly. “You have to define what you trust them to do. You could let the managed service provider run the whole show if you wanted to, in certain functions,” or limit their scope to a defined set of functions, according to Bodhuin.
  • Proactively managing the working relationship. “You really have to keep them on their toes. Make sure they deliver what they say they will deliver,” he advised. “So you really have to pay attention to your statement of work to ensure that you will get what you expect.”
  • Treating the managed service provider as one of our own. “It’s really important that you make these people a part of your team. And if you do that, then you’ll get success. If you don’t do that, then there will be a lot instances where there are conflicts in your priorities,” Bodhuin said.

In the final analysis, with the expertise gained via a managed services arrangement, Bodhuin expects Inspira to save time, reduce costs while minimizing the organization’s overall risk profile. As such, Bodhuin can help the health system support its strategic growth goals. “The technology/security must be ‘a department of yes’, not a ‘department of no’. When you start saying no to people, you're going against the business itself and that can be a real problem,” he concluded.

 

Bypass Two-factor authentication - 2FA Bypass

A majority of users and companies are moving to Two-factor authentication (2FA) for enhancing the security of its data and systems. But contrary to popular belief, it cannot provide a fool-proof layer of security to online accounts since Kevin Mitnick at KnowBe4 has demonstrated that it is very easy to deceive this defensive measure.

KnowBe4 is the world’s leading security awareness training provider and simulated phishing firm with a massive customer base of 17,000 organizations across the world. Mitnick is the company’s chief hacking officer.

In his new exploit, he proved that 2FA is exploitable because hackers can spoof the 2FA requests by sending a fake login page to the user. This may lead to stealing of sensitive user data including username, password and session cookie.

The hacking technique can be seen in the video uploaded here:

The purpose of using 2FA is to add an extra layer of security by combining what an employee already has and what they know. This combination could be between username and password or a code that is sent to the user on the phone or an app.

To exploit the 2FA method of security, the victim is lured into visiting a typo-squatting domain such as LunkedIn.com in order to steal the required user data. Once the information is obtained, the hacker can easily access the actual website and capture session cookie. Once this is achieved, the hacker can remain logged in indefinitely. But this is reliant on accessing the 2FA authentication code once.

As per the CEO of KnowBe4Stu Sjouwerman, Kuba Gretzy, a white hat hacker, and friend of Mitnick, developed a tool for bypassing the 2FA authentication via social engineering techniques and this tool can be “weaponized” for just about any website.

“Two-factor authentication is intended to be an extra layer of security, but in this instance, we clearly see that you can’t rely on it alone to protect your organization,” added Sjouwerman.

The tool is called evilginx. The attack method is based upon proxying the user via the hacker’s system through a credentials phishing technique, which requires the use of a typo-squatting domain. The idea is to let the user give away his/her credentials so that the hacker could steal session cookie.

The phishing email is the core of the attack method. In this particular case, the phishing email is supposedly sent by LinkedIn to a member of the site indicating that somebody is trying to contact through the social network. The email looks authentic initially but if looked closely, it becomes evident that it is a fake email since the return address is incorrect. But, if the user falls for it and clicks on the “interested” button, the malware will soon be downloaded onto the device.

This is the stage when the victim is taken to the authentic LinkedIn website so as to enter login information, which the hacker required. The login information is recorded by the malware as well as the session cookie using the cookie, the attacker acquires direct access to the account and manages to avoid the 2FA phase of the signing-in process.

Watch The Demonstration Here