Cyber security

Benefits and Challenges of Cybersecurity in Healthcare Industry

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The healthcare industry has seen increased digitization in recent years. Health care systems have noticed increased consumer agency and activation. Three Health systems align digital investments to their overall business strategy—a strategy focused on consumers—as consumers take more control of their health decisions. We’ll talk about the Importance of cybersecurity in healthcare in this blog.

 EHR software, radiology information systems, and practice management software are examples of electronic health record software. Information systems are all examples of electronic health record programs. Programs are all used by healthcare organizations. In addition, healthcare digitization now includes patient admissions, prescriptions, pharmacy, and insurance.

The Value of Patient Data and Health

  • The patient’s health is a top priority in healthcare, and its medical devices and systems are becoming increasingly important.
  • The sooner a patient receives the care they require in a suitable location with the necessary equipment—the better the chances of a positive outcome. 
  • Cyber-attacks threaten patients’ safety and privacy on PHI, PII, and other programs. Like a ransomware attack, losing access to medical devices and records can encrypt and hold files hostage. 
  • As a result, a hacker may gain access to sensitive patients’ personal information and steal it. Furthermore, the attacker may alter patient data, intentionally or unintentionally, causing severe harm to the patient’s health.

Cyber-Attacks in healthcare: What Are Their challenges and How Do They Work?

According to Health informatics, healthcare data breaches cost the industry $5.6 billion annually. Attackers target the healthcare industry because it has a lot of information, private data, Healthcare and Medical Devices’ credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and other financial information about medical research and innovation

The Healthcare Industry’s Top 6 Cybersecurity Challenges

Healthcare cybersecurity is a branch of information technology that focuses on keeping medical systems safe. These systems include EHRs, health tracking devices, medical equipment, and healthcare delivery and management software. Healthcare cybersecurity aims to protect systems from unauthorized access, use, and revealing patient data.

External theft :

Hackers from outside a healthcare organization gain access to patients and medical systems to steal and collect data, primarily for financial gain. They might, for example, submit fraudulent claims to health insurers using patients’ personal information.

Insider misuse :

For economic gain or malicious intent, patient data theft is a typical example of insider misuse. Curiosity unwarranted access to data unrelated to care delivery) and convenience is two other examples of insider misuse overriding security protocols to make a job more accessible. The rest of the insider misuse cases are affected by unintentional actions such as human error, such as mistyping information into EHRs or clicking on a phishing email.

Malware and ransomware :

Most ransomware attacks start when a user clicks on a malicious link, views a malware-infected, or receives phishing emails with a malicious attachment. Falling for these traps can cost your company a lot of time and money. When ransomware infects your network, it slows down or shuts down critical operations and processes until the ransom is offered to the threat victim. Finally, funds that could have been used to invest in new technology or improve the standard of patient care are absorbed.

Cloud threats :

Because of the convenience of data recovery and the increased security surrounding patient information, many healthcare providers are moving to cloud-based data storage solutions. Unfortunately, not all cloud-based solutions follow HIPAA. For example, Dropbox and Amazon Web Service do not meet HIPAA’s data security, privacy, or sovereignty requirements, making them an easy target for hackers.

Moreover, some organizations may fail to encrypt data before sending it to and from the cloud, allowing for invasion. To avoid this, organizations should use a private cloud or an on-premise data center in charge of regularly securing and encrypting data.

The use of a single sign-on for all systems is discouraged  :

The average adult uses a dozen or more different platforms. It’s challenging to keep track of all these passwords, from their work systems to the ones they use in their spare time. Unfortunately, some people in the healthcare industry prefer to use a single password for everything, including online banking and social media accounts, and patient record systems. In addition, some people will put their employer’s name and address on their social media profiles. As a result, once an attacker discovers a person’s social media password, they have all the information they need to figure out where else they might use the same password. Healthcare organizations should compel employees to participate in various activities to avoid this.

Protect Mobile Gadgets  :

Nowadays, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices have become more prevalent and expanded the scope of electronic health record collection, transmission, and retrieval. While this convenience is appreciated, it has also introduced a new threat to the privacy of medical records. These devices are more accessible to steal than traditional desktop computers because of their mobility and capacity. Smartphones now have internal memory that exceeds 32GB regularly, allowing them to store sensitive data. Therefore, we should keep all sensitive data away from mobile devices as much as possible. When it is essential to commit such data to a mobile device, it should be encrypted.

There are many reasons why healthcare is the most vulnerable to cyberattacks are as follows:

  • Attackers can quickly gain access to medical devices.
  • Staff must have remote access to data, which increases the risk of an attack.
  • Employees do not want to disrupt their work routines by introducing new technology.
  • Health professionals aren’t aware of the dangers of the internet.
  • The immense number of devices used in hospitals makes maintaining security difficult.
  • Open and shareable healthcare data is required.

Why is cybersecurity important in healthcare?

Because cybersecurity refers to the safeguarding of electronic data and assets against unauthorized access, use, and disclosure. The “CIA triad” refers to the three goals of cybersecurity protecting the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information. Ensuring that your medical devices are cyber-secure is critical as they become more advanced and the Software as a Medical Device (SaMD) industry grows. When a medical device has Software like all other technologies require vigilance because it can be vulnerable to cybersecurity threats and attacks. 

The healthcare industry has been a target of attacks for a long time because of its vast amounts of health data and information, such as patient health, product performance, or data from other networked devices.

Conclusion

Even if it was only for a second, 2020 and 2021 demonstrated the Importance of health and healthcare systems in our society. We’re seeing this Importance in the digital world with technological advancements, and we’re adding verification to build trust with healthcare providers.

Assess your risks regularly with activities like penetration testing to see how well your security controls are working. It should be conducted after significant changes, at least once a year, and followed up with risk remediation plans to demonstrate improvements in business processes.

KloudLearn provides a Free Cybersecurity Training Program to help you gain the skills and knowledge you need. With an immersive learning experience, you will learn the industry best practices from global experts and leading practitioners.

You can sign up for our free cybersecurity training program by clicking here.

FAQ’s

Why is cyber security important in healthcare?

Cybersecurity is one of the most important aspects of the healthcare industry because it protects valuable insights, healthcare data, and patient's personal information,

What impact do cyber-attacks have on healthcare?

Financial, reputational, and legal consequences are the three types of consequences resulting from a security breach in healthcare.

How many cyber-attacks do you think there are in the healthcare industry?

The Department of Health and Human Services of the United States of America keeps track of healthcare provider cyberattacks and breaches. According to the department, 618 breaches and attacks in 2021 affected at least 500 people.

What is malware in healthcare?

Ransomware is malware that infects computers and files and locks them up until a ransom is paid. Critical processes in the healthcare industry are slowed or rendered completely inoperable.

 

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