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Safeguarding Health: Preventing Cyberattacks with Artificial Intelligence

John Bailey By: John Bailey


Within the last month, in a single day, various hospitals run by Prospect Medical Holdings across several states experienced a cyber-attack that's left them in recovery mode for the coming weeks. While much remains unknown, AP News shares, “the incident had all the hallmarks of an extortive ransomware..." The aim of these kinds of attacks is to steal sensitive data from specific networks, then paralyze said networks and demand money. While the FBI has taken the initiative and is providing assistance, a plethora of services, like outpatient appointments, blood drives, and more, have been suspended. As for emergency services, these have remained active, but some hospitals have gone to utilizing traditional paper records to provide certain services.

Considered by some news outlets to be the "biggest cyberattack on hospitals in years," the question of how this can be avoided now falls to seasoned software developers. Interestingly, though cyber-attacks are nothing new, cutting-edge technologies represent a way to a faster recovery and a route to mitigating them altogether.

Artificial Intelligence, as the latest iteration within the technological landscape, is a fresh and in-depth solution that provides constant real-time monitoring and predictive analytics using historical and real-time data. It also delivers automated responses to prevent sensitive patient information from getting into the wrong hands, and it enables administrations to make better data-driven decisions.

Complex Technology for Complex Problems

There are a plethora of different techniques and methods that Artificial Intelligence is capable of to prevent this kind of ransomware attack. AI can learn from normal behavior patterns within a system, detect patterns or unusual behavior, and understand network traffic to draw its conclusions. Aside from behavioral analysis, anomaly detection, and network traffic analysis, AI can be leveraged within an antivirus to keep up with the rapidly changing nature of these attacks. AI is capable of this through the use of machine learning. This capability can be bolstered further with predictive analytics and automated incident responses, as the AI system can leverage historical data to accurately predict potential ransomware threats and automatically respond to them when ransomware is detected. Whether it's isolating infected systems, initiating backups, or other response actions, AI can serve as the solution hospitals have been desperately in need of.

As mentioned briefly, these techniques result from underlying technologies like natural language processing, machine learning (ML), and its subset, deep learning. These three work in tandem to understand and identify behaviors, patterns, and anomalies. Additional, equally important technologies, such as big data analytics and cloud computing can serve as pillars for ingesting, safely storing, and analyzing the data in question. Furthermore, these resources are cost-effective and can be seamlessly integrated with the aid of skilled software engineers.

Other industries have been implementing Artificial Intelligence to tackle exploitative ransomware attacks, including transportation, education, telecommunications, e-commerce, retail, and finance. Representing these industries are companies like AT&T, JPMorgan Chase, Amazon, Tesla, and Turnitin. All of these conglomerates are leveraging AI to prevent or respond to all kinds of attacks, in addition to ransomware attacks. As a result of using these technologies and techniques, these organizations are experiencing faster incident response times, reduced fraud, an improved level of threat detection, and overall fortified cybersecurity.

Additionally, the capacity AI has to differentiate between abnormal and normal behaviors with accuracy can enable security teams to focus on genuine risks while mitigating false positive alerts. Automated incident responses can streamline the processes further during a security breach, whether through isolation or initiating backup protocols. The AI-driven approach has the ability to also comply with data protection regulations, equip organizations with insights on emerging threats, and strengthen vulnerability management.

Stronger Cybersecurity for Patients Everywhere

Fundamentally, hospitals are a key part of any functioning society, and as we continue to evolve technologically and medically, the threats we face are also more complex. Looking at contemporary cyber-attacks, like the recent one that affected over 170 facilities across multiple states, new technology, specifically, AI, can be the constantly-on solution hospitals need. At the same time, an equally in-depth course of action includes experienced software developers who can seamlessly integrate AI into established platforms and systems within hospitals to foster more secure cybersecurity. Patient trust is still pivotal, and with AI safeguarding sensitive medical information, it can lead to better collective defense against ever-changing cyber risks.


Chetu does not affect the opinion of this article. Any mention of a specific software, company or individual does not constitute an endorsement from either party unless otherwise specified. This blog should not be construed as legal advice.

Founded in 2000, Chetu is a global provider of custom app developer resourcing, solutions and support services. Chetu's specialized technology and industry experts serve startups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies with an unparalleled software delivery model suited to the needs of the client. Chetu's one-stop-shop model spans the entire software technology spectrum. Headquartered in Plantation, Florida, Chetu has fourteen locations throughout the U.S. and abroad.

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