Why Healthcare Acts as a Magnet for Cyber Threats?

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Why Healthcare Acts as a Magnet for Cyber Threats?

Recently, the entire healthcare industry has changed radically, thanks to evolving technologies and innovative procedures that have driven it into a new era. In this new dimension, however, there are rising uncertainties like cybersecurity threats. The main challenge for the healthcare sector is to offer a new level of protection aligning with processes and technologies like healthcare vendor risk management.

The modern healthcare network can safeguard patient data and offer stable infrastructure with the capability of withstanding cyberattacks. It calls for a new approach. In our post today, we are going to check out the vital aspects of cybersecurity for beginners across the healthcare sector. We will help analyze the common cyber threats in this industry and their impact on the patients, along with the evaluation of the ideal solutions for this continued problem.

The Growing Cyber Threats in the Healthcare Industry

It is noted that the entire healthcare industry data faces a constant risk. However, what it would be about is healthcare information which is attractive enough. Let us check out the following:

Risk to Private Patient Information

Hospitals store a lot of valuable patient data. The confidential data is worth a lot of money for hackers who sell it quickly, making this industry a growing target. Companies need to safeguard the records of the patients. With the introduction of GDPR, it is becoming important for healthcare networks to secure their information.

As healthcare organizations have astounding storage of and access to patient’s information, hackers view them as the main targets for their black market payday and cyber-business objectives. Ransomware attacks impacted 66% of healthcare organizations in 2021, witnessing a strong rise from 2020. The average cost of the 2022 medical data breach was $10.10 million. Although this leads to immediate financial pain, the results of the breach will last for several years.

IT experts understand that the cost of securing their data with solutions such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) is less than the payoff from ransomware or other attacks. MFA requires more information to identify a user and generates one-time passwords on every login session, making it tougher for hackers to steal passwords and the rest of the information.

Medical Devices are Main Target for Attackers

There are not too many downsides to innovations across healthcare technology. Medical devices such as insulin pumps, X-rays, and defibrillators play a vital role in modern healthcare. However, those in charge of online security and protection of patient data have new devices that open up more entry points for attackers. Medical devices fulfill distinctive purposes like dispensing drugs or monitoring heart rates.

Security is never the main concern in the design. However, the devices might fail to store the patient data as the attackers leverage them, launching an attack on the server holding the main information. The hackers can completely take over the other medical devices to prevent healthcare organizations from offering the required life-saving treatment to their patients.

Hackers who know that medical devices do not consist of any patient data might find them as an easy target that lacks security found in other network devices. Threats against medical devices lead to issues for healthcare companies, offering the hackers access to different network devices or allowing them to install expensive ransomware. The secured network devices, with the help of a robust solution to risk management for the healthcare industry, can help limit the damage caused due to an attack on the medical devices.

Greater Vulnerabilities for Staff Accessing Data Remotely

Collaborative working is important in the healthcare industry, with the units that work together offering the ideal solution to each patient. Those who require access to information work remotely through other devices. 

Connecting to a network remotely from new devices is risky, and not all are secure. Furthermore, healthcare staff need to familiarize themselves with the basic cybersecurity best practices to grow their business. The compromised devices might never gain access to the network as just a single hacked device that leaves the entire company-wide open.

RBA, or risk-based authentication, is one such option for companies with staff who work across devices. The solution will make risk analysis seamless by allowing the IT staff to build policies determining the risk of the given device based on different factors like the user, location, and more. The unusual activity gets flagged, ensuring the unsafe devices are not accessing any sensitive patient data.

Introduction of New Technologies to Workforce

Healthcare staff are in huge demand in the country. Staff who work for longer hours and meet tight deadlines need more time and resources to add online security processes to their work pressure. Medical professionals require slick work practices with fewer distractions.

Healthcare companies need to evaluate the effect of the cybersecurity measures they plan to implement. The IT staff should try aligning security measures with the existing software. Several authentication solutions, such as Office 365, will work seamlessly with the software.

The authorized users can access several applications using a single set of login information to help keep their work routines quick and seamless without affecting security with single sign-on. Frictionless solutions such as RBA and SSO offer the right type of protection against every online threat without affecting the manner in which people are working.

Healthcare Staff Lack Ideas About Online Risks

Medical experts will need to gain the required skills to recognize and mitigate online threats. Resources, budgets, and time limitations mean that every healthcare staff member needs to become fluent in cybersecurity best practices.

Cybersecurity solutions are challenging; however, their interface has to be seamless. The medical staff needs a secure network that is easier to access and quick to use. They require peace of mind to know how patient data is safeguarded. Solutions such as SSO and MFA are becoming prominent since they use a secure one-time code, adding extra layers of security that do not require the user to know anything more than the login credentials.

Devices Used Are Prone to Cyber Threats

Modern healthcare companies are responsible for a massive amount of patient data along with an extensive network of connected medical devices. Bigger companies often deal with thousands of medical devices that are connected to the network, each of which acts as a possible threat to attackers.

The healthcare staff is busier in terms of staying educated on the latest threats to devices, leaving the IT specialists with the work of protecting the whole hardware network against attacks. If one device gets compromised, it will open the entire network to data breaches and medical device hacks.

There is a growing need for healthcare professionals to manage their own devices to free up IT specialists who deal with massive IT and security issues in the network. A few MFA solutions offer a self-service portal that enables users to reset their security PINs, helping to lighten the workload on their support desk.

Healthcare Industry is Not Prepared for Attacks

Only some features of the healthcare industry have stayed up with the pace of amazing advances in medical technology. The budget restrictions and hesitancy to learn about the new systems will indicate that medical technology needs to be updated. The hospitals are using different techniques that will release the system updates to equip every software to its recent version.

These arrive with bug fixes to help keep the systems secure. Eventually, the software reaches the end of its life, and vendors stop offering updates. It is possible to reduce the risk of cyberattacks by adding another layer of security where it is not feasible to upgrade to different and more secure software. If one of the systems gets compromised, then the MFA solution limits the attacker’s lateral movement through the network since they fail to log in to the other safeguarded systems.

Healthcare companies are responsible for staying current on the latest online threats to keep their patients’ data secure. It is important to allocate a budget and invest in the right solution for your company. Consider how your staff likes to work and stay on top of new emerging threats before the systems become outdated, and you struggle to safeguard your devices.

Conclusion

Finally, the entire healthcare industry is subjected to risk. It is the right time to dedicate a special budget to investing in robust cybersecurity solutions. In this manner, your enterprise can safeguard patients’ data from cybercriminals. Every enterprise, with its implementation, can help strengthen the cybersecurity of the nation’s healthcare infrastructure as a whole.

Author Bio:

Nagaraj Kuppuswamy is the Co-founder and CEO of Beaconer, an esteemed enterprise specializing in managed third-party risk using the cloud-native AI-based solution. With an extensive portfolio of accolades and industry certifications, Nagaraj stands out as a seasoned expert, boasting over 16 years of dedicated involvement in the field of Cybersecurity. Throughout their career, he has predominantly focused on elevating the realm of third-party risk assessment. You can connect with him through Linkedin

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