The healthcare industry is in the midst of tremendous change. And it comes from the pressure to modernize aging systems, the continued shift to cloud computing, as well as the rapid adoption of telemedicine and electronic medical records. And all during a time of an ongoing pandemic and the continuous targeting of healthcare systems by cybercriminal.
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When it comes to managing the security of their data and business-technology systems, many healthcare enterprises focus heavily on regulatory compliance efforts, such as their HIPAA security and patient privacy mandates. This is for an excellent reason — noncompliance can lead to costly fines and the ire of regulators. While it’s likely that focusing on regulatory compliance can incrementally improve security, that shift alone won’t take the organization to the level of security maturity it needs to have to protect against today’s threats such as ransomwar.
Healthcare providers are operating in a time of extraordinary pressure. Whether it's recovering their operations from a devastating pandemic year or it's the pace that their organization is embracing a rapid digital transformation aimed to optimize and modernize their systems. The last thing healthcare organizations needed this past year was an increase in ransomware and other types of attacks — but that's precisely what they experienced.
Cooperation between health professionals and IT staff has never been more important. The data shows it and real-life crises healthcare organizations go through prove it.
What makes healthcare such a high-value target for cybercriminals?
You’ll find the reasons are a lot more nuanced - and even surprising - than you may think.
“I was quite shocked. I felt like the carpet was pulled out from under me, and I was left without the tools necessary to move forward.”
As we covered in part one, there’s tremendous investment underway in healthcare IT and the industry is innovating every step along the way of patient care and records management, or it soon will be. And the result is that as hospitals grow more efficient and deliver care more effectively, it will help better contain healthcare cost increases. But it must be done securely.
In the past decade, we've witnessed amazing advancements in medicine. Our lives are being not only enhanced but extended as new treatments, medications, and technologies come to market every month. Still, it's not just medical abilities that are rapidly improving; it's also the technology that drives the management and delivery of healthcare. This includes everything from the technology now behind a simple visit to the doctor’s office, new healthcare devices, and monitoring technologies, to the electronic sharing of patient medical information among far-flung doctors and specialists.
Healthcare organizations are still looking for a cybersecurity cure or at the very least an effective security management regimen. As we covered recently, Healthcare continues to be a prime target for cyber attacks. That post was based on a survey conducted by the non-profit global advisory organization HIMSS and found that most healthcare organizations had experienced a significant security incident in the previous year.
The healthcare industry has been a major target for bad actors in recent years, who have inflicted heavy financial losses, reputational damage and risking patient health. Administrators have responded by bolstering cybersecurity budgets, security solution deployments, and awareness training. But much more needs to be done to stay on top of this constant threat, experts believe.
The healthcare sector has to store increasing quantities of personally identifiable and sensitive information, making it one of the most attractive targets for data theft. However, according to EY’s Global Information Security Survey 2018-2019, the sector’s awareness of cyber risks is growing, and many organizations are determined to put stronger protections in place.
Few industries today are faced with as many cyber security threats as the healthcare sector. Patient data is among the most sensitive information in the digital ecosystem, and cyber criminals are often looking to leverage these resources for profit.
Amid growing fears about cybercrime in healthcare, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released guidelines to healthcare organizations of all types and sizes, ranging from local clinics to large hospital systems.