According to the recent survey by Symantec Corporation on healthcare cybersecurity, cyberattacks were the top reason behind healthcare data breaches in 2015. Many healthcare facilities are now focusing more on cybersecurity. Ransomware and phishing scams are on the rise with increased threat to sensitive data.
“For the first time in 2015, criminal attacks are the number one cause of data breaches in the health sector,” stated the study. “Why? Because, the cyber-criminals have figured out that health data is deep and valuable, and that healthcare IT infrastructure, from traditional IT systems to connected medical devices, is typically vulnerable and easy to penetrate.”
In last decade the data breaches were mainly due to lost or stolen device but it is changing now. Cyberattacks are growing exponentially and soon it may take over other forms of data breaches.
EHR and other health IT systems mostly get shutdown due to cyberattack strongly affecting hospital routine work. Researchers of Symantec also connected the rise in cyber threats to the increase in innovative medical devices.
“Healthcare is a uniquely difficult environment to secure against cyber threats and often security measures conflict with care delivery,” wrote the authors of the report. “There are a lot of shared devices, many of which are critical to patient care. Routine security measures often don’t work in a clinical context.”
Healthcare industry should implement cybersecurity tools to protect from any such attacks. According to the surveys, healthcare sector suffers most under the hands of cyber criminals as compared to other industry because the it is highly regulated. There are stringent laws in case of healthcare data breach which tempts criminal to extort handsome money.
“Certainly, security technologies are available to protect organizations from these sophisticated attacks across multiple security control points―email, network, and endpoint―but the front line of defense is still the employee who receives the email and may be tempted to click on an infected web link,” stated the report. “Investment in contemporary security technology is important, but always needs to be complemented by training and drills for your workforce.”
Also, healthcare providers should be prepared for all types of attacks.
“Any breach, no matter how small, can provide valuable information to attackers as they accumulate details on healthcare organizations, their staff and patients, and their IT infrastructure,” noted the report.
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