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Mitchell Gross
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The Healthcare Industry is a Prime Target for Cyber-attacks

The healthcare industry has become a major target of cyber-attacks. While most healthcare institutions are committed to privacy regardless of what it takes, some are still far behind in adopting cybersecurity and progressing with the times. The healthcare industry holds a lot of important data about patients including their medical records, medical history, and insurance records. Cybersecurity experts warn that the sector is becoming the biggest target for malicious actors and that the risk of medical devices connected to the Internet in hospitals is increasing.

The number of healthcare devices susceptible to attackers is increasing, which not only poses a threat to individuals, but also provides potential access to entire networks. The pacemakers and health monitors connected to the internet acts as a gateway for hackers to exploit or block the system.

The healthcare industry remains the most vulnerable to security incidents, organizational breaches, and data theft with internal and external factors affecting the situation. Internally, health care organizations have low data encoding levels and invest little in awareness of best security practices, resulting in poor management and protection of patient’s data. Externally, the cost of reselling stolen health records remains attractive, reinforcing the level of interest among criminals to continue with their malicious attempts to extract data.

Why do healthcare companies need to improve their cybersecurity?

  • Hospitals store valuable and sensitive information about patients that hackers seek out.
  • Hospitals cannot afford to lose access to their systems due to the effects on patient safety, any loss of network activity could disrupt operations and lead to medical device issues that can cause harm to patients.
  • Healthcare is one of the largest sectors of economic activity in the world and is susceptible to large ransomware requests.
  • Because hospitals are constantly running, they are exposed to risk from bitcoin mining which can slow down the networks

Tips to protect healthcare industry from cyberattacks:

  1. Prepare a clear description of potential risks: health care institutions need to assess their vulnerabilities and detail possible attack scenarios.
  1. Identify best practices: after appropriate cybersecurity solutions are implemented in healthcare institutions, it is necessary to develop best practices and familiarize users to ensure the highest outcome of success in preventing cyber-attacks.
  1. Simulate attacks and response: all organizations face a constant threat of potential cyber-attacks. Simulations help improve the ability to detect and prevent cyber-attacks along with handling the aftermath of a potential attack.
  1. Identify the most important and specific data: health care organizations need to prioritize data according to the levels of privacy and importance associated with protecting it. The type of data will help determine the level of security and investment required to protect that data.

A well-rounded cybersecurity plan must be implemented to ensure that the organization, employees, and patients are protected. It is important to follow key cybersecurity best practices to help reduce security vulnerabilities. Research has shown that a low level of cyber employee awareness training has caused more than half of the attacks on the healthcare sector. RB Advisory can help you in implementing a cybersecurity plan, improving awareness, and applying best security practices for the long term.

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