All industries are open to data breaches and cyberattacks however cybersecurity in healthcare in 2021 will see a large jump compare to other industries.
As the healthcare industry accelerates into more digital technology and connectivity, this has helper the industry by increasing the patient care delivery, offering more effective health management, and better patient outcomes. The downside is that with all this increased technology and connectivity, the risk of cyber exposure to cyberattacks that can impact patient care delivery, safety, and privacy.
According to cybersecurity professional, the healthcare industry will see a 200 to 300 percent increase in more cyberattacks in 2021 compared to other industries. Add this to improper cyber security practices including weak passwords, and vulnerabilities, and now you have recipe for disaster.
To understand the importance of a ransomware attack in the healthcare industry, there has been a 400 percent increase in cyberattacks between 2017 and 2020.
Now this is the US but there are no borders when it comes to hackers and cyber criminals. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reported 592 breaches of unsecured protected health information affecting 500 or more individuals within the last 24 months.
According to a survey from the Health IT Conference, the HIMSS 2020 survey summary stated the following. There is a wide gap for cyberattacks as many healthcare organizations lack the proper resources to protect from cybercriminals. Very few healthcare organizations are conducting end-to-end security risk assessments to mitigate their cyber risks. Many healthcare organizations risks are not addressed due to the lack of comprehensive security risk assessments. There is also a large legacy system footprint in many healthcare organizations that hold sensitive information and are vulnerable to cyberattack.
A great resource is The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada as they provide advice and information about protecting personal information. They also enforce two federal privacy laws.
Here are some great links and additional reading material:
- Summary of privacy laws in Canada
- The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)
- The Privacy Act
- Privacy Guide for Businesses
- Introduction to PIPEDA for your business
- PIPEDA compliance and training tools
Cybersecurity in healthcare in 2021 will be challenging as healthcare environments are unique. Their require an in-depth cyber security approach and proactive management from a skilled IT department or support from a managed IT services provider. This will address the challenge needed to protect patient data while embracing the ever-increasing number of digital health technologies.
There have been a number of data breaches that have occurred, and healthcare organizations need to close the gap in security. We more IoT devices coming online such as smart IV pumps and bedside medication verification workflows, cybersecurity is a large concern.
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