Radiology, like the rest of the medical field, is no stranger to cyberattacks. One recent study estimated that more than one billion medical images are exposed online through vulnerabilities in archiving and communication systems throughout the world. But how prepared is the average radiologist or radiology department to prevent such attacks?
For radiology departments, the cyber risks of experiencing cybersecurity attacks have increased over the past several years, with widespread industry consolidation and the profession becoming a mainly online practice. With many radiologists now working remotely due to COVID-19, cyber hackers are more likely than ever to jump at the chance to breach private data with employees working on less secure mobile devices and wireless networks.
Radiologists must begin to invest in their cybersecurity immediately to prevent the chance of an attack.
Understanding Cyber Attacks on Radiology
The incredible growth of industry technology has enhanced the medical field, making patient data and information instantaneously accessible. However, this immediate access to private information also creates opportunities for cyber hackers to invade an organization’s systems, majorly affecting the entire healthcare industry.
Cybercrimes cost the healthcare industry around $6 billion annually, with healthcare organizations individually losing nearly $4 million. There are also many other related costs that organizations could face with these crimes, including potential fines from HIPAA, lawsuits, and post-breach costs. One way to mitigate these risks and losses is for radiology practices or departments to invest in insurance directed to boost cybersecurity awareness in healthcare. This coverage protects practices looking to not only uphold their operations and finances but their reputations as well.
Knowing Where Hackers Lie in Wait
It’s not easy to predict where hackers will point their attack next and how they will go about it. Cybercrimes can stretch from breaching data networks for patients’ information, infecting networks in malware attacks, or deliberately tampering with images and scans. This uncertainty can make securing sensitive information and preparing systems for attacks a challenging process.
Hackers have been consistent in targeting small- and medium-sized medical practices. This is because many of these specific practices do not have the staffing power or financial resources to field a full cybersecurity team, making their information less secure and easier to breach.
Radiology hackers have also become more interested in targeting cybersecurity in healthcare networks consisting of consolidated practices. With patient information and other data streamlined throughout multiple networks and facilities, there are more chances for cyber hackers to steal, breach, and manipulate private radiology data.
Cybersecurity Steps to Take
Practices to prevent attacks can take many different paths to enhance their cybersecurity efforts. One of the most important steps in implementing proper cybersecurity systems is artificial intelligence solutions. These systems are created to constantly understand patterns and protect information automatically while anticipating and identifying any suspicious activity.
Another step that practices can take, especially in this remote world we all live and work in now, is to have added protection for any mobile devices on a shared network. While mobile devices are growing and helpful to radiologists and their operations, they also open the door to more risks and threats to network privacy.
To cut down on the possibility of cyber-attacks or any unauthorized access, all mobile devices used on a shared network must be equipped with stronger authentication and access control settings. Having regularly changed passwords, further authentication steps, and limiting the number of mobile devices permitted are a few ways to boost protection.
Implementing these settings and tasks can be a major step in keeping all information and data secured as remote continues in the industry.
About Highland Risk
At Highland Risk, we use our expertise and experience to provide insurance information and programs to those who serve long-term care and senior living facilities. Since 2007, we’ve been offering insurance and risk management plans designed to help our agents give their clients the ability to achieve continued growth while simultaneously protecting against loss, containing costs and increasing profitability. With three offices to serve you in Chicago, Illinois; Phoenix, Arizona; and Burlington, Connecticut, we do everything we can to make your experience with us as professional and transparent as possible. To learn more, contact us at (877) 890-9301.