As healthcare organizations and hospitals become more dependent on technology in order to better serve their patients, the need for better cybersecurity measures has grown. In fact, the average healthcare organization spends $1.4 million to recover from a cyberattack. And while that number is slightly lower than other industries, it is only expected to grow.
Recently, the Cybersecurity and infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued an emergency directive imploring healthcare organizations to seek out and patch up certain vulnerabilities that are currently impacting Microsoft Windows operating systems, including Windows Remote Desktop Client and Windows Remote Desktop Gateway.
This news, mixed with statistics surrounding the growth in cybersecurity risks around the globe in the industry, are combining to bring more awareness to special Cybersecurity coverage measures and steps to secure patient information moving forward.
A Crack in Microsoft’s Window Opens Cybersecurity Risks
The National Security Agency recently discovered a bug in Microsoft’s systems and reported it to the tech giant. Any exploitation of these vulnerabilities could allow attackers to defeat trusted network connections and inject virus code while appearing to be legitimate. To not patch up these vulnerabilities could spread far and wide in hospital systems who use Windows.
In response to this issue, the Health and Human Services department issued a release of its own, urging healthcare organizations to patch up these vulnerabilities to get out ahead of any widespread cyberattacks. Organizations were also pushed to install patches as soon as they could, beginning with mission-critical systems and network servers.
For hospitals and healthcare systems, doing this can be a long process as they work with hundreds of servers and thousands of medical devices to serve patients. Each device has to be tested separately to make sure the patch won’t cause any malfunctions or loss of information.
To make matters worse, these vulnerabilities have appeared at the same time that Microsoft has ended support for the Windows 7 operating system, opening up computers to malware and hacking as updates to software won’t occur anymore.
The security risks for the industry can be huge and unprecedented as it is still highly reliant on legacy operating systems. Major concerns include ransomware attacks that hit hundreds of thousands of machines across the globe that lack security updates.
To mitigate these risks, healthcare organizations can move to supported versions of Windows before vulnerabilities are found while also keeping their healthcare Cybersecurity up to date. This coverage is uniquely designed to provide hospitals with the insurance needed to respond to attacks, providing resources to keep claims and financial fallout low in the wake of an attack.
Putting Cybersecurity and IT at the Forefront
Healthcare organizations would be right to migrate more energetically to Windows 10. But the industry itself is still lagging behind other industries in devoting an effective amount of funds to cybersecurity and IT. In fact, healthcare spends about $65 billion on IT, whereas the tech industry sees more than double that poured into more robust cybersecurity measures.
Hospitals and health systems should be considering major IT upgrades while budgeting for the future and include room for effective healthcare Cybersecurity coverage to keep their financial and reputational losses low.
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.