Healthcare is increasingly evolving towards digitalisation: from electronic health records to teleconsultation and connected devices. But with digitisation comes an increasing risk of cyber-attacks, whether from malicious outsiders or people working in hospitals and other heatlhcare facilities, both intentionally and by accident. The impacts of these attacks can be huge in critical infrastructures like healthcare, both from a societal (e.g. stolen health records, interruptions of emergency services) and financial (e.g. ransomware payments, production losses due to outages) perspective. 

Tackling these cyber threats (internal and external) head on is critical to protecting healthcare services, and especially patients and medical staff.  This requires not just advanced cyber security solutions but also driving a human-centric approach, training and educating medical staff and patients on best-practice behaviour, both of which are critical to building resilience in critical infrastructures.

This is where PANACEA comes into play as a 36-month research and innovation action under the European Horizon 2020 work programme. Humans are at the very heart of PANACEA by bringing together hospitals and healthcare authorities with cyber experts from enterprise and research to increase awareness about vulnerabilities all healthcare providers need to take responsibility for. PANACEA will help these facilities assess their exposure to cyber risks, impacts of cyber-attacks and guidance on effective preparedness-response strategies.

To this end, PANACEA will deliver a Dynamic Risk Management Platform, with assessment and penetration tests that support information sharing across organisational boundaries. Data will be collected not only from local IT structures but also from remote infrastructures and from IoT devices based on Secure Information Sharing Platform (SISP).

PANACEA will thus help the healthcare sector respond more swiftly to the risks of a complex and multi-faceted threat landscape while fostering positive behavioural changes. 

The overriding goals of PANACEA are: 

  • Reinforcing Europe’s position as a key security provider for Healthcare IT systems.
  • Enabling the continuous development and improvement of fully tailored identity management and secure data management solutions for Healthcare.
  • Rolling out new products such as Connected Object management platforms to secure connected medical devices.
  • Running an Open Call aimed at extending its user base by offering funds for innovators across the healthcare ecosystems.  
  • Extending its European network of stakeholders through a highly focused engagement plan, drawing also on the PANACEA stakeholder platform.