The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has released a comprehensive cybersecurity guide specifically tailored for the Healthcare and Public Health (HPH) sector [3]. This guide aims to address vulnerabilities and provide best practices for mitigating healthcare IT security risks [1].


The guide incorporates insights from vulnerability scanning and web application scanning programs [2] [4], as well as data collected from enrolled organizations and various sources. It leverages the renowned MITRE ATT&CK framework to contextualize vulnerability trends in the HPH sector [4].

Specific vulnerabilities faced by the HPH sector, such as encryption weaknesses and unsupported software [1], are highlighted in the guide. These vulnerabilities often lead to data breaches, ransomware attacks [1], and denial of service incidents [1]. The guide focuses on areas such as asset management, access control [4], web application vulnerabilities [1], identity management [4], and device security [4]. It offers guidance on crucial areas like email security [4], phishing prevention [4], password management [1] [4], access control [4], monitoring [4], and data protection practices [4]. The importance of secure-by-design principles in the development of HPH products is also emphasized [4].

Proper vulnerability management [3] [4], patching [2] [4], and configuration management are covered comprehensively in the guide [4]. Organizations are urged to maintain up-to-date server and application patching [4], conduct regular asset inventories [4], and promptly address any misconfigurations. The guide provides recommendations on securing assets and managing their security effectively [4].

Additionally, the guide offers vulnerability remediation guidance [3] [4], allowing HPH organizations to prioritize patching based on internal network architecture and risk posture [2] [4]. It specifically draws attention to five vulnerabilities that have been frequently exploited by attackers [4], including the infamous Log4Shell bug and critical flaws in PHP and Microsoft Exchange [4].


By implementing the recommendations outlined in this guide [4], HPH organizations can significantly reduce their cybersecurity risk and protect the sensitive data entrusted to them [4]. CISA urges these entities to be vigilant in their vulnerability mitigation practices to proactively prevent and minimize the impact of cyber threats [4].

For more information and resources to enhance cybersecurity defenses in the HPH sector, HPH entities are encouraged to visit CISA’s Healthcare and Public Health Cybersecurity Toolkit and Sector webpages [2].