Cybersecurity is Critical in the Healthcare Domain
May 22, 2022
Website Be Like In 100 Years

Cyberthreats that pose a danger to patient safety are constantly developing, which places health care institutions in a precarious position. Because of this, we recommend that the C-suite of hospitals and other top leaders do not consider cybersecurity as a problem that is related to technology and falls under the purview of their IT teams. Instead, it is essential to regard cybersecurity as a risk to the organization, a strategic priority, and a patient safety concern and to include it into the hospital's preexisting structure for enterprise management, risk management, governance, and business continuity.

Your company will not only be able to help protect patient safety and privacy by aligning its cybersecurity and patient safety initiatives. This is because disruptions can occur when cybersecurity and patient safety initiatives are not aligned.

Threats Imposed to Protected Healthcare Information

Hackers can gain access to protected health information (PHI) and other sensitive information when they break into computer systems that store electronic health records or different types of computer systems. Suppose your company does not maintain the confidentiality of patient records. In that case, it may be subject to severe fines in accordance with the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules and the possibility of suffering reputational damage within the community.

Most significantly, both the delivery of care and the safety of patients may be put in jeopardy. Your capacity to provide quality treatment for your patients will be hindered if you cannot access patients' medical information and gadgets that are essential to saving lives, such as when a ransomware virus keeps them captive. Suppose hackers are able to access confidential patient information. In that case, they are not only in a position to steal that information, but they are also in a position to either purposefully or unintentionally alter the data, which may have significant repercussions for the patient's health and outcomes.

Another illustration: Patient outcomes were jeopardized when the United Kingdom's National Health Service was affected by the "WannaCry" ransomware attack in May 2017, which targeted computer systems in over 150 countries and resulted in the redirection of ambulances and the cancellation of surgeries. Since then, there have been more orders to divert ambulances due to ransomware, including here in theUnited States. These orders have been given in a number of different countries. Nevertheless, it is feasible to lessen the impact of this risk if one makes the necessary preparations and investments.

Vulnerability

Health care institutions are often a target for cybercriminals and a particularly vulnerable target for cyberattacks because they have access to a large amount of information that is both financially and strategically valuable to hackers and nation-state actors. This makes health care institutions a particularly vulnerable target for cyberattacks. The information that is being sought includes:

  • Patients' protected health information (PHI) and information on credit card and bank account numbers.
  • Personally identifying information (PII) such as Social Security numbers.
  • Intellectual property pertaining to medical research and innovation.

On the dark web, stolen medical records can sell for up to ten times or even more than stolen credit card numbers. Unfortunately, the bad news for health care organizations does not end there. The cost to remediate a breach in the health care industry is almost three times that of other sectors, with an average price of $408 per stolen health care record compared to an average cost of $148 per stolen non-health record.

Benefits of Cybersecurity

Efficient Cure Is Key

Because filling out the required documentation took so much effort and time in the past, medical professionals were unable to devote more of their attention to the care of their patients because they were required to complete the necessary documentation.

Now that the global population is increasing, it is becoming increasingly challenging to manage the data associated with healthcare. The majority of healthcare facilities have recently begun storing patient records with cloud-based and database-based information management systems. It is becoming increasingly vital to protect the database and network from being breached by hackers so that healthcare professionals can perform their jobs more effectively.

Saves Millions of Dollars

Because of the rapid expansion of the healthcare sector over the past 20 years, today's medical professionals are more knowledgeable than ever before. They can see far more patients in an eight-hour shift instead of a twelve-hour change. With the use of technology, all of this was able to become possible, which resulted in a reduction in the amount of physical paperwork.

The health care practitioners can readily communicate information with their coworkers, other departments, patients, and other parties with the use of an internal computer system and a cloud-based computing platform. It is now simpler to store and retrieve the data collected about patients.

Important to Patients

It is essential to protect patients' information because hackers can leak the information on the black market, which identity thieves can then use for Medicare fraud and other financial gains. Protecting patients' data is essential for the healthcare industry because hackers can leak information. Having a cybersecurity system in place helps maintain the confidentiality of patient information, which is necessary for legal reasons.

Leaked Information Can Be Very Costly

Businesses in the healthcare industry need to have strong cyber-security, as this helps to stop sensitive patient information from being disclosed to unauthorized parties. It is essential to have a cybersecurity system in place for healthcare data since the cost of legal actions could be enough to bring a healthcare organization to its knees in the event that the information is compromised.