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SYNLAB Cyber Attack: A Wake-Up Call for Robust Healthcare Cybersecurity Measures

  • 24 Apr 2024
  • 2 min read

The recent cyberattack on SYNLAB, a global leader in medical diagnostics and healthcare services, underscores the critical need for robust cybersecurity measures in the healthcare industry. With the potential value of healthcare data records reaching as high as $250 on the black market, the consequences of a breach can be devastating, both in terms of financial cost and patient trust.

The attack targeted SYNLAB's Italian operations, with initial speculation linking it to the MOVEit Transfer vulnerability (CVE-2023-34362). While the specific malware has not been confirmed, the incident highlights the importance of proactive incident response measures and the critical role that patch management plays in maintaining cybersecurity resilience.

In accordance with SYNLAB’s security procedures, all IT systems were suspended as a precautionary measure, leading to the suspension of operations in the region. It was done in a timely manner to ensure the effect of the cyberattack was minimal.

Mike Walters, a former member of the Forbes Technology Council and the President and co-founder of Action1 – a well-known company in the field of risk-based patch management for distributed networks, highlighted that SYNLAB was likely able to respond so swiftly because they implemented AI-powered cybersecurity protection with CSI MSP several years ago. 

“If the speculation that this breach is related to the MOVEit Transfer vulnerability (CVE-2023-34362) is true, there are significant questions for SYNLAB regarding the quality of their patch management processes. The MOVEit Transfer vulnerability is quite old and critical. It received significant publicity in the news,” added Mike.

Key Takeaways

Here are the key takeaways from the recent cyberattack on SYNLAB.

Prioritize cybersecurity preparedness: The SYNLAB incident highlights the importance of prioritizing cybersecurity preparedness and having robust security measures in place. Organizations must invest in comprehensive cybersecurity solutions, such as zero trust network architecture, to detect and mitigate threats effectively.

Rapid incident response: Organizations should have well-defined incident response plans in place to minimize the impact of cyber-attacks and facilitate swift recovery. Organizations that have a formal incident response plan in place are better prepared to respond to cyberattacks and can significantly reduce the average time to detect a breach. 

Continuous improvement and adaptation: Cybersecurity is an ongoing process that requires continuous improvement and adaptation to evolving threats. The SYNLAB incident serves as a reminder for organizations to regularly assess their cybersecurity posture, conduct risk assessments, and implement proactive measures to stay ahead of cyber adversaries. 

According to the 2023 IBM Security Cost of a Data Breach Report, the average cost of a data breach across industries was $4.45 million. However, the average cost of a healthcare data breach was the highest among all industries at $10.93 million.

Industry collaboration: Collaboration between organizations in the healthcare industry is critical in sharing threat intelligence and best practices to strengthen the overall cybersecurity posture of the sector. This includes sharing information on emerging threats, vulnerabilities, and attack techniques.

Risk management: The SYNLAB incident underscores the importance of risk management in cybersecurity. Organizations should identify and assess potential threats, and implement appropriate controls to minimize such risks. This includes a comprehensive risk management framework, such as the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, to guide risk management efforts. 

Employee training: Employee training and awareness are essential in preventing cyber attacks. Organizations should provide regular training on best practices for password management, recognizing phishing emails, and reporting suspicious activities.


As a trusted provider of zero trust network solutions, PureDome committed to helping organizations protect themselves against emerging threats. By learning from incidents like the SYNLAB attack and implementing proactive cybersecurity measures, organizations can safeguard their operations, data, and reputation in an increasingly digital world.