Cyber SecurityHealth Tech

Top Cybersecurity Challenges in Healthcare and How to Address Them


Cyberattacks are becoming more common as digital healthcare becomes more widely available. It will only become worse if quick cybersecurity action is not done.

For hackers, the healthcare business has long been a tempting target. Cybercriminals continue to develop new methods to exploit healthcare cybersecurity policies, from high-value patient data to a low tolerance for downtime that might interrupt patient care. The healthcare business has experienced a 55% surge in cybersecurity risks in recent years, turning healthcare provider assaults into a $13.2 billion industry and a gold mine for hackers.

Cybersecurity challenges facing the healthcare industry:

Malware and Ransomware

Until the target organisation pays a ransom to the cybercriminal, ransomware affects devices, systems, and files. The majority of ransomware attacks start when a user clicks on a malicious link, reads malware-infected advertising, or opens phishing emails with a malicious attachment. Without realising it, your firm might lose a lot of time and money if you fall into these traps. When ransomware infects your network, it slows or disables critical operations and processes until the threat actor is paid the ransom. Finally, funds that could have been used to invest in innovative technology or improve patient care have been diverted.

Data Breaches

Data breaches in the healthcare business are more common than in any other industry. With an average of 2.8 million breaches each month in healthcare over the previous year, appropriate device management and monitoring, as well as the safeguarding of sensitive information, are just as critical as delivering medical treatment to patients. The issue is that, although HIPPA required criteria are in place, most firms lack the resources to remain current with security measures, policies, and a skilled IT workforce. This gives thieves easy access to patients’ social security numbers, contact information, and other sensitive information.

Insider Threats

Insider risks are precisely why data encryption and zero-trust access procedures are critical to the security and preservation of sensitive patient data. While it’s a scary concept, not all cyber-attacks can be traced back to human error. Disgruntled staff may opt to purposely leak patient information out of spite or to profit from the black-market demand for protected health information, given the amount of attention and money focused on cybersecurity in the healthcare business (PHI). Employees with malevolent intent have the key to exposing your business to a variety of threats since they may be aware of network configuration, vulnerabilities, and access codes.

Distributed Denial of Service Attacks

DDoS attacks seek to overwhelm a company’s network with internet traffic to the point where it can’t function or perform normally. These assaults are generally carried out in tandem with botnets or ransomware operations, which aim to overload a network by flooding it with data from millions of infected machines. DDoS assaults, like other cybersecurity threats, are particularly disruptive to healthcare practitioners who require network connectivity to deliver adequate patient care, send and receive emails, fill prescriptions, access records and retrieve information.

Clouds Threats

Many healthcare providers are moving to cloud-based data storage solutions due to the ease of data retrieval and greater security surrounding patient information. Unfortunately, not all cloud-based solutions comply with HIPAA regulations. Dropbox and Amazon Web Service, for example, do not comply with HIPAA’s data security, privacy, or sovereignty standards, making them prime targets for cybercriminals. Furthermore, some businesses may not encrypt data before sending it to and from the cloud, leaving the door open to hacking. To avoid this, businesses should employ a private cloud or on-premise data centre that is responsible for continually protecting and encrypting data.

Pissing Attacks

Phishing is a method of deceiving people into divulging passwords or personal information. These cyber-attacks are often carried out by email and are a type of social engineering. An employee may get an email from a hacker impersonating a company platform informing them that their account password has expired. If the employee isn’t adequately taught how to spot these phishing emails, a hacker just has to ‘click’ to change the password to put your company in danger. These assaults can force healthcare institutions to break HIPAA regulations or possibly face a lawsuit from a patient whose information was compromised.

Ways to Overcome Them:

Establishing a StrongSecurity

When security is embedded into your organization’s structure, it’s simple to create a security culture. Set up regular cybersecurity training and education seminars for all team members, emphasising that everyone is accountable for safeguarding patient data.

Devices Should be Protected

Organizations must encrypt data and implement other protective measures to ensure information security as the healthcare industry grows increasingly tech-savvy and reliant on mobile devices and tablets.

Anti-Virus Software Should be Used

Anti-virus software can help with network security in general; nevertheless, these systems must be updated on a regular basis. With the ever-changing cyber-attack methods, it’s critical that anti-virus software be updated on a regular basis to keep your healthcare company safe at all times and against the latest threats.

Control Physical and Digital Access to Your Medical Records

Any employee in the organisation should not have access to patient information. Establish a zero-trust policy, allowing only those who need to see or utilise protected information in their regular job operations access.

Make a Secure Password.

Make strong passwords and keep them updated on a regular basis. Strong passwords are 12-14 characters long and contain a mix of digits, symbols, capital letters and lower-case letters. Maintaining excellent password hygiene begins with a solid structure, so make sure staff are aware of the differences between strong and weak passwords.

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