In recent years, cybersecurity has taken center stage as a great threat to the overall tech infrastructure. From banking to private emails, cyber threats are finding their way into practically every industry in every part of the globe, including the healthcare industry. In fact, in the fall of 2018, healthcare organizations were targets for email fraud attacks 473 percent more often than in the first part of 2017.

Email security defenses in the healthcare industry aren’t keeping up with other industries, painting a grim picture of what hospitals and primary care physicians, for example, are up against. While hearing about phishing scams and sensitive information being held captive is alarming, there are still steps that can be taken to boost healthcare cybersecurity.

Playing Catch-Up

The healthcare sector’s email defenses aren’t as strong as compared to other industries, according to research from Mimecast. More than 16 percent of 2.2 million inspected emails were seen as false negatives, meaning that they were spam or they contained malware or malicious content that somehow still got through email filters and firewalls. Compare this to other industries which saw about 12 percent false negatives and you can see the issue at hand.

Cyber impersonation attacks, like wire transfers or social engineering attempts, are also proving to be problems for the healthcare industry as a whole. About one in 350 emails are impersonations, making it 10 times more likely than other sectors.

Planning for Safety

The average healthcare organization is smaller in size, which means it may not be able to invest in the right level of IT security to keep its networks safe. Smaller IT budgets can lead to vulnerabilities within the overall safety of sensitive information, such as finances and health records of patients.

Healthcare organizations need to make sure they are employing a multilevel approach to IT security to keep their clients and information safe. Healthcare cybersecurity providers, such as Highland Risk, offer specialized healthcare cybersecurity to keep organizations safe from major risks and provide what’s needed to protect a company after an infiltration of any size.

Healthcare organizations need to make sure they are putting a focus on general security controls, like keeping sensitive data in fewer places and not spreading it out throughout multiple networks or devices. Also, anti-phishing tools should be used and made sure that they’ve been evaluated within the last year as technical approaches to phishing and email scams have only become more sophisticated.

Training and Education

Another component that lends a hand to overall healthcare cybersecurity revolves around proper education and training. Employees should be able to look out for things like impersonation emails and know how to handle them so losses are and risks are kept to a minimum.

If a hacker attempts to manipulate employees into wire transferring funds or provide them with healthcare information, there needs to be accountability or another point of validation, such as an existing banking relationship.

IT security in the industry is developing faster and faster, but being aware of the risks and where the industry stands right now compared to others are helping to shed new light on what needs to be done in order to get ahead of liabilities and keep patients and organizations safe.

About Highland Risk Services

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 offices to serve you in Chicago, Illinois and Phoenix, Arizona, 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.