Losses from cybersecurity data breaches continue to occur throughout organizations. In fact, loss due to cybersecurity problems is set to surpass $6 trillion by 2021. As the world keeps depending more heavily on technology and a digital landscape, this number reflects a continuously developing issue among every industry, especially in the healthcare industry, which has seen growing risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A cyberattack is a chain of events beginning with the attacker identifying the targeted victim based on some planning and construction of the attack. This level of sophistication goes unnoticed even though victims are not aware of the attacker impersonating or attacking attributes that may have any form of association with an entity. It’s important to note that many attacks that target or impersonate victims to defraud individuals may never touch a network.
The mismanagement of cybersecurity in healthcare opens the door to more potential attacks, leading to a leak in finances and private data. It’s important for healthcare organizations to have an understanding of mismanagement in their industry and how to prevent attacks.
Why Would a Hacker Target Healthcare?
Everyone knows cyber breaches are a daily occurrence, but because there are so many potential targets, such as entertainment companies or tech giants, healthcare organizations assume it’s unlikely they’ll ever find themselves in an attacker’s scope.
That false sense of cybersecurity leads to a haphazard approach to network protection, which allows hackers to break through with more ease. Companies delay investment in new technology, have inadequate security practices, spend too much time chasing false alarms, or simply don’t have the right resources and skillsets they need to keep up with a risk environment that evolves practically every week.
Furthermore, a lack of cybersecurity awareness among healthcare clients also creates vulnerabilities that have almost nothing to do with technology. Weak protections for mobile devices, such as wearables and medical devices, and poor password hygiene mean people are often the core of the problem, creating a threat from the inside that presents data breaches opportunities.
Aside from financial details and the sensitive information held on their databases, healthcare organizations are attacked because of their connection to other healthcare entities as they are often part of a supply chain in the industry and may be seen as weak links in a series of connected data networks. Breaching a healthcare organization’s network could provide the stepping stone that hackers need to access other targets.
Protecting Against Potential Attacks
Budgets and revenues place a certain limit on how much cash healthcare companies and organizations devote to cyber protection. As it isn’t something that generates revenue, this expenditure looks like an unnecessary purchase compared to other items like technology or testing or medical supplies.
But those in the healthcare sector face the same threat outlook as other industries. So the answer for many companies is to hand over daily cybersecurity tasks to managed service providers and cybersecurity insurance experts that focus their efforts on protection healthcare organizations.
Because of the major financial impact of data breaches brought on by cybersecurity mismanagement, health informatics and other healthcare professionals can play a crucial role in ensuring that medical organizations remain safe from attacks with these tips:
- A Culture of Awareness: Ongoing education opportunities and training when it comes to network security help every member of a healthcare organization stay aware of the risks they face and the role they play in presenting opportunities for hackers to attack.
- Protect Mobile Devices: Connecting our devices to the internet makes our data processes more streamlined, but it also connects hackers to information more readily. Organizations need to emphasize safety for these devices by installing encryption and other protective measures that are critical to ensuring security.
- Use Better Passwords: Nearly two-thirds of data breaches involve taking advantage of passwords that were a default, weak, or stolen. Healthcare organizations should make sure their employees not only use stronger passwords but ensure they are changed regularly.
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.