April 19, 2017//Ellen NeveuxLast Updated: November 18, 2020
Last week, HIPAA issued guidance on man-in-the-middle attacks. Let’s explore what a man-in-the-middle-attack actually is, and then delve into how you can make sure this kind of attack never happens to you.
A man-in-the-middle attack is where an attacker relays and alters communications between two parties, who think they’re communicating with each other. It can also be referred to as a ‘bucket brigade’ attack. One instance of this could be ‘eavesdropping’. Here, a third-party makes connections with two victims, swapping messages between them – all the while, they believe they’re talking directly to each other over a private connection. But, in fact, they’re not – the attacker is controlling the entire interaction. At this point, the attacker might gain access to sensitive or personal data. The attacker goes about inserting himself as a man-in-the-middle by leveraging a wireless access point.
So, what does this mean for your healthcare organization? How can you defend yourself against this kind of attack – and ensure you meet the new HIPAA guidelines?
There are two main ways you can secure your end-to-end communications and prevent becoming susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks:
Security starts with protecting access – from the outside in. To help secure your endpoints and stop attacks, authentication will ensure that a certain message has come from a reputable source. With two-factor authentication, every individual must be authenticated for each connection. This doubles down on ensuring you’ve got fully-secured connections, every time, and will enable you to authenticate and authorize specified user access.
With an effective platform in place that provides control over your IT systems, you’ll be able to set up rules and alerts for any suspicious activity. Plus, you can easily conduct audits to ensure you’re always in compliance with the latest HIPAA regulations. You’ll be able to capture the who, what, when and why of all remote access activity and receive automated connection notifications. All activity is mapped to individual users, so you’ll be able to detect any unauthorized activity – and outsiders won’t be able to get through your secure barrier.
Our sole focus is secure third-party remote access. For highly regulated enterprise organizations, SecureLink Enterprise has pioneered a secure remote access platform. SecureLink for enterprise allows an organization to identify, control, and audit third-party vendors. For vendors, SecureLink is the gold standard remote access support platform because it is easy, efficient, and ensures compliance and reduces liability when supporting customers.