Healthcare Cybersecurity Threats and Defense Strategies with F5, AWS, and Intel

Cyrus Rafii 缩略图
Cyrus Rafii
Published January 26, 2024

Healthcare is among the sectors experiencing the highest number of ransomware attacks in recent years.1 The majority of cyberattacks against healthcare are financially motivated,2 and organizations are frequently targeted for their valuable data, ease of intrusion, and increased likelihood of paying a ransom to maintain operations. Unfortunately, ransomware has been shown to negatively impact patient care, causing delays, cancellations, and ambulance diversions.3 These attacks can also postpone or even ruin research by blocking access to data and systems. Cybersecurity threats put patient data and safety at risk, whether by making hospital systems unavailable or by delaying or invalidating clinical trials.

Navigating the growing maze of cybersecurity threats in the healthcare sector

As healthcare organizations adopt more digital technology, ranging from digital patient monitoring devices to telehealth services, the digital attack surface continues to expand, making adequate defense a challenge for security and IT teams. Hybrid environments may further complicate this by requiring multiple sets of tools to secure on-premises and cloud environments. This can lead to inconsistency that increases the risk of a successful attack.

One effective way to fight sophisticated threats like ransomware is to identify encrypted threats by monitoring encrypted traffic. Ideally, you should monitor inbound traffic to identify malware or ransomware as well as outbound traffic to reveal data exfiltration or communication from infected devices. However, real-time encryption and decryption are resource-intensive tasks that can slow down other parts of your organization.

Proactively secure healthcare data with layered protection from F5, AWS, and Intel

F5® BIG-IP® SSL Orchestrator® offers policy-based decryption, encryption, and traffic steering to identify threats that other security solutions can miss. When used with Intel® QuickAssist Technology (Intel® QAT), encryption and decryption tasks can be offloaded for faster performance and detection.

For other common threats, ranging from zero-day vulnerabilities to automated attacks, F5 BIG-IP® Advanced WAF® protects applications and APIs with behavioral analytics. Defend your healthcare applications on AWS or on premises from the OWASP Top 10 with a solution that's easy to deploy. Whether you've built a unified view of patients from multiple sources or used AWS to transform health data into insights, that sensitive data must be kept secure from human and automated attackers. Intel QAT amps up security performance for faster and more effective protection.

Electronic health record (EHR) systems are another key attacker target in healthcare. F5 helps protect your EHR system from downtime with BIG-IP Advanced WAF policies specifically for Epic Systems applications. Deploy and defend your healthcare applications with pre-built, validated policies and templates that help prevent threats and misconfigurations that could lead to outages. Reducing IT complexity across your on-premises and cloud environments can also improve your security posture. With F5 BIG-IP® Virtual Edition (VE), you can bring your on-premises policies to AWS for consistent and secure applications everywhere—without creating more work for your security and IT teams.

Elevate your organization’s data security

With F5, Intel, and AWS, you can increase uptime, speed, and scale for reliable operations, keeping patient and research data secure against sophisticated threats and reducing the complexity of hybrid environments for your IT and security teams.

Discover the path to robust cybersecurity and learn more about safeguarding your data at:


1 Internet Crime Report 2022, Federal Bureau of Investigation, March 2023

2 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report 2023, June 2023

3 Trends in Ransomware Attacks on US Hospitals, Clinics, and Other Health Care Delivery Organizations, 2016-2021, H. T. Neprash, et al., JAMA Health Forum, December 2022