Cybersecurity is fast becoming a vital component for businesses in every industry. However, some businesses than others should feel the need to put proper cybersecurity measures in place, owing to the fact that their operations require the transfer of personal data. One such industry is the healthcare industry. Health institutions cannot avoid updating their cybersecurity protocols, especially since cybercrime is damage that cannot be reversed.
These days, hackers and criminals have special sights set in the healthcare industry. Ever since the data security research by the Ponemon Institute began, criminal attacks have been up by 125%, a drastic change and a daunting scenario. Health care institutes can only try and match this pace. The result of the study noted that the leading number of breaches occur in the healthcare industry more than any other. The same research also observes how organizations are nowhere near prepared for combatting this threat, because of a lack of resources, and zero awareness on the procedures required that help in keeping data secure.
Here are some of the top reasons why healthcare institutions must pay attention to improved cybersecurity.
1. The Internet of Things
In the healthcare industry, the IoT represents the addition of connecting internet to devices which are new next text internet enabled items. The reason these products and devices are so significant is that ever since their outlet in the market they have been performing with increasing efficiency and reduced costs.
The truth is that all medical devices purchased for an organization are first evaluated for any possible security flaws. It is possible that these devices are not originally networked and therefore not harbor the necessary security protections. As a result of this, hackers can easily make use of devices that make a backdoor gateway to the networks.
It is important that the Internet of Things devices are patched to evade vulnerabilities just like corporate servers and personal computer devices are. This is just a basic step, but also a very important and often overlooked one.
2. It Complies with HIPAA
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA was drafted in the first place as a way to protect the information of patients. This includes private medical information and the one on one telehealth conversations between a patient and a physician which are confidential.
To comply with HIPAA many organizations have taken the help of cybersecurity professionals, which has led to more budgets as the healthcare industry invests in cybersecurity.
In the current environment, threats are bound to continue to grow. This is because of the same growing number of mobile devices, portable medical technologies, and smart beds. Because of this, health institutions must take out data that is shared in medical research, allowing them to single out patients who conform to HIPAA. Since security goes two ways in the medical field, equally on the patient’s end. The only people who can do this are cybersecurity experts, whose main job would be to encode data which is common and shared between both parties. At the same time, the experts should be directed to ensure that information that is targeted by hackers stayed protected and therefore confidential.
This process may take time and a lot of effort. The complexity of making it possible lies in the fact that the experts have to first analyze a huge amount of information.
3. Sticking with the Standards of Data Security
Network Security intelligence is responsible for keeping the data security of your business. The reason it is becoming so much more challenging today is that with more people getting ready access to medical care, there is the huge amount of medical data that needs to be kept confidential and safe from compromise.
The good news is that cybersecurity experts have created plenty of standard procedures which help in managing big data. It is extremely vital to first follow these standards if you do not want to be invaded by cyber-attacks. You can use the same resources to single out network threats.
All security program vendors make use of big data for analyzing purposes. On top of this, there are plenty of advanced technologies that are making use of AI and machine learning as a way of detecting unknown or fresh strategies that hackers may have started using.
4. Technology is Too Efficient and Too Vulnerable
When you compare the efficiency of the state of the current healthcare system with what the situation was two decades ago, you will notice that the biggest difference is that the efficiency of machines has replaced individuals. This has made us not need as many professionals as we needed before. The good news for existing professionals is that they get to take care of more patients in the same time period than it used to take in a longer time period. This is mainly because of the fact that there is less physical paperwork involved.
At the same time, this is something that makes it easier for a lot of patients to exchange tons of information with their colleagues and their patients. The same goes for documentation, which can be easily stored on networks in large volumes. This makes both the documentation and the sharing of information at a greater cybersecurity risk.
5. Population is Growing
In the past, the most time-consuming task for healthcare organizations was to fill out the necessary paperwork and copy the documents. This valuable time could be dedicated to taking care of patients. The inception of healthcare tech came to be because of the growing population. The same must be factored in when we talk about the importance of advancing in cyber security for healthcare. The increasing storage of data may be keeping up with the latest tech in the businesses, but the same cannot be said about cybersecurity measures.
6. A Breach Costs Millions
One of the biggest benefits of cybersecurity remains that it keeps patient information from being leaked. A healthcare organization may benefit from saving money by skipping on security measures now but it might not be able to keep up with the cost of the damages once a breach in information happens. This means having to deal with patients who may take legal action, or having to pay an expert to restore the network or data which takes days and a lot of skill for which the organization will pay for.
The cost is not just in the way of money spent to get things together after an incident, it is also in the form of hackers receiving medical care under someone else’s information. There have been cases where hackers make money by buying expensive medication under an organization’s name and then resell them.
7. You Cannot Avoid An Attack
The truth of the matter is that cyber-attacks are not something any business can completely avoid. This is an inescapable notion because the world is continuously becoming more reliant on technology. Securing information is a procedure that will forever continue to evolve even though the future. The one thing that should definitely be looked to is how much time and money organizations are ready to offer their cybersecurity strategies. With very little attention given to the matter, the organization is looking ahead to prospects where information is compromised and a heavy cost in damages is incurred. Preventing from this to happen in the first place is the best way to go about the security of information.
Currently, only 70% of the organizations in the industry employ measures that ensure prevention of cybersecurity attacks. It’s so important that more healthcare companies and organizations begin to take cybersecurity as a serious issue. The more prepared we are, the better we’ll be able to handle a potential attack.