We live in an age when the internet has altered everything, from how we buy, bank, and even our healthcare systems. In recent years, in particular, the healthcare business has experienced a spike in the frequency of cyber-attacks.
Most health institutions respect privacy, but some are still lagging in deploying cybersecurity safeguards. The healthcare business contains the single most precious asset that hackers’ covet-information. Hospitals and healthcare organizations hold patients’ medical histories, records, and insurance information. This makes healthcare the top target by bad actors, with the risk of internet-connected medical devices in health facilities escalating.
Cyber risks in the health business
Third-party associates and vendors
Most healthcare organizations have difficulty controlling third-party vendor risks. The Healthcare business relies on many vendors for the maintenance of care services. Research by the Ponemon Institute revealed that it costs the healthcare business $3.8 million for third-party vendor risk management and roughly $3 million to recover from assaults.
Phishing attacks aim to fish for sensitive information such as passwords and other private details. Phishing attacks occur when employees open malicious email attachments or click on links in emails or text messages.
The links lead to phony sites that seek to solicit information and are used to steal data. An example is an email pretending to originate from a department head of a hospital inviting staff to open an attachment with new information about the Covid-19 outbreak.
Ransomware is a code that encrypts healthcare data, rendering it unavailable. The hackers then demand money for the decryption key, generally in Bitcoin, as it is untraceable.
Healthcare organizations often focus on outside dangers and forget the most significant threat is in their systems. Risks like data breaches may develop by negligence or accidents caused by personnel. Sending an email containing confidential material to the incorrect recipient might lead to a data breach or a dismissed employee with a chip on the shoulder.
How to limit the risks
Organizing security awareness training for the workers is one approach to averting assaults. When staff member realizes the hazards of clicking on links and downloading email attachments, they may prevent assaults. The training educates the workers on how to detect a phishing scam when they encounter one and report it to the IT department, even if they had already clicked on it.
Security solutions such as Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) go a long way in safeguarding systems. VPNs employ a military-grade encryption method (256-bit) that assures the medical data cannot be encrypted by malevolent hackers or intercepted in transit. It is advisable to acquire a VPN to safeguard the network from dangerous attackers.
Best Password practices
Only staff with the proper rank should be privy to private information. Employees should also learn how to develop robust passwords. The passwords should also change every time an employee leaves.
Keep software up to date
Keeping software up to date assures you to close any gaps and weaknesses the hackers could use. When software developers deliver upgrades, they typically reveal the prior software version’s vulnerabilities and issue security fixes. Hackers hunt for un-updated software and utilize the disclosed vulnerabilities to break into any un-updated software.
The healthcare business is privy to a vast quantity of data, which the institutions should secure. If information like medical history, records, or hospital financial data were to be breached, it might significantly influence the patients and the institution.The hospital can wind itself in court, facing lawsuits from patients whose information was exposed. Hospitals should embrace cyber-security and acknowledge we are in the 21st century to prevent this and other losses.