MDR, Compliance Management, Managed Security Services, MSSP

MSSP Clearwater, 1stResponder Remedy Healthcare Security

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As hospitals and clinics are increasingly a target of ransomware and other types of cyberattacks, a new partnership is putting MSSP power behind protecting healthcare providers.

The partnership, announced February 7, pairs Clearwater, an MSSP Alert Top 250 MSSP company focused on cybersecurity and compliance solutions for the healthcare industry, and 1stResponder, a specialist in digital forensics and incident response.

The partnership will expand Clearwater's incident response services within the company's MSSP portfolio, according to the announcement. Meanwhile, 1stResponder can provide its customers with enhanced security through Clearwater’s managed detection and response (MDR) services.

The MDR services include 24/7 threat hunting, monitoring of endpoints, network and cloud environments, as well as Clearwater's Security Operations Center (SOC). Clearwater's MSSP services can be delivered in collaboration with 1stResponder, on a standalone basis or as part of its ClearAdvantage for Healthcare solution, the companies said.

Clearwater's managed services program for healthcare organizations is designed to bridge common cybersecurity and compliance gaps. These gap areas include security program leadership, risk analysis, technical testing, incident response planning and tabletop exercises to prepare an organization for a potential attack.

Healthcare On Notice

As ransomware incidents proliferate across the healthcare industry, The Joint Commission issued cybersecurity guidelines calling for hospitals to prepare for attacks that could take down critical systems. Last week’s attack on Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago is one such example. The hospital’s IT systems have been shut down for more than a week, CNN reports.

Also, in December 2023, a group of New York hospitals and health care centers were targeted in a cyberattack that for two months allowed hackers to access patients' private information. The attack targeted three separate facilities — HealthAlliance Hospital, Margaretville Hospital and Mountainside Residential Care Center — which all operate under Westchester Medical Center Health Network.

Now, teaming their incident response specialists and security analysts, 1stResponder and Clearwater assert that their partnership will provide a “rapid and coordinated approach to detect, contain, investigate, and respond to active cyber incidents.” Accordingly, 1stResponder's forensic experts work will together with Clearwater's cybersecurity analysts and consulting team to determine breach exposure, provide digital forensics identifying root causes and restore normal operations efficiently.

"Effective risk management, monitoring, detection and response, as well as incident response capabilities, tailored to the needs of healthcare, are key components of a strong and resilient cybersecurity program for healthcare providers and digital health companies," Clearwater CEO Steve Cagle said.

Additionally, Clearwater's compliance experts are making preparations in the event of a U.S. Office for Civil Rights investigation, which is expected for any breach of 500 or more patient records. As such, Clearwater provides clients' board of directors with a direct opinion of the root cause of the incident and recommended corrective and preventative actions to avoid future occurrences.

Jim Masters

Jim Masters is Managing Editor of MSSP Alert, and holds a B.A. degree in Journalism from Northern Illinois University. His career has spanned governmental and investigative reporting for daily newspapers in the Northwest Indiana Region and 16 years in a global internal communications role for a Fortune 500 professional services company. Additionally, he is co-owner of the Lake County Corn Dogs minor league baseball franchise, located in Crown Point, Indiana. In his spare time, he enjoys writing and recording his own music, oil painting, biking, volleyball, golf and cheering on the Corn Dogs.