The healthcare industry is at risk as healthcare is the biggest cyberattack target for cyber criminals and hackers worldwide.
The truth is that healthcare organizations are becoming increasingly susceptible to online cyberattacks. This is essentially threatening their day-to-day work and compromising confidential patient data.
Healthcare is surrounded by long busy days which puts healthcare staff at a disadvantage as they do not have the time and resources to educate themselves about the ever changing online cyber security risks.
Healthcare is the biggest cybersecurity target but the good news if that healthcare leaders are ready to increase spending on cybersecurity to protect their organizations. With new cybersecurity threats uncovered every day, it is difficult to know where an organization would be better off investing their IT budget.
There is an increasing demand for patient information and often-outdated systems are among the reasons healthcare is the biggest cyberattack target for online attacks.
- Patient Information Is Worth A lot
Healthcare facilities including hospitals and clinics store an incredible amount of patient data. This is extremely confidential data that is worth a lot of money to cyber criminals that they can sell it on easily on the dark web therefore making the healthcare industry the biggest cybersecurity target. It is the duty of these organizations to protect patients personal records. There have been many financial penalties for failing to follow The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario as well as Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
It is important for IT departments, IT professionals, and managed IT services providers (MSP) to educate the healthcare client of the cost of securing data using multi-factor authentication (MFA) or two-factor authentication (2FA). It is far less to pay for ransomware or similar cyberattack. MFA or 2FA requires more than one piece of information to identify a user and then generates a one-time password on each login session. This makes it a lot harder for hackers to steal passwords and other information.
- Medical Devices Are Not Secure
Medical devices are there to help save lives but with all the innovations in healthcare technology these days, these devices are becoming increasingly hard to manage. Medical devices like technically advanced insulin pumps, x-ray, and defibrillators play a critical role in healthcare these days. Now for cyber security experts, these devices are part of a new wide selection of cyber security entry points for hackers. Medical devices are made to save lives and not with cyber security in mind. The devices may not store patient data, but they can be used to launch a cyberattack on a server that does hold valuable patient information. It can also be taken over by hackers, preventing healthcare organizations from providing vital life-saving treatment to patients. Cyber criminals are aware the medical devices do not carry patient data, but they can easy target other network devices like laptops and computers.
- Control Remote Staff and Work from Home (WFH)
Remote workers are nothing new but with the addition of work from home (wfh), now organizations have challenges. Collaboration is key in the healthcare industry as many units work together to provide the best solution for every patient. As healthcare is spread out and people need access to information they are often working remotely from different devices. Remote connectivity to a network is risky if the device is not secure. It is imperative that compromised systems do not get access to the network as it only takes one hacked device to leave the whole organization wide open.
- Resistance to New Technology
The healthcare industry is busy and employ some of the busiest staff in the most demanding industry. They tend to work long hours and shifts with tight deadlines and high pressure. Most do not have the time or resources to add online security policies and security processes to their workload. It is important to understand that any managed IT services provider will suggest cybersecurity measures for healthcare organizations that must be considered. This can impact current work practices. It is important to align security measures with existing software and business processes. There are many different authentication solutions available that work with software like Office 365, Gsuite, Google Business so healthcare staff can perform their daily tasks without distraction.
- Educate Healthcare Staff
Healthcare and medical staff are trained to deal with a lot of high-pressure situations which usually does not leave much time for education in cyber security. There is always budget, resources, and time constraints that does not make it simple for healthcare professionals to be well versed in the best cybersecurity practices. Cybersecurity solutions tend to be complex and require a secure network. This gives peace of mind of knowing patient data is protected and that healthcare professionals can focus on their jobs. There are cyber security solutions like (2FA) two-factor authentication and Single sign-on (SSO) therefore adding extra layers of cyber security.
Healthcare and medical organizations have a responsibility to react to the latest cyber security threats to keep their patient data secure. It is very important to allocate a budget and invest in the right solution for your organization.
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