A seamless IT infrastructure has become the core focus of the healthcare administration these days. It can help optimize the quality of care provided and removes a significant amount of administrative burden put on healthcare professionals. Most healthcare services use specialized software and cloud infrastructure to access and store patient data and other related information.
However, most of this information is sensitive, and as it stands, healthcare services are highly vulnerable to cyber attacks. To protect their data, healthcare service providers need to invest in cybersecurity infrastructure.
In this article, we will explore the current state of cybersecurity in healthcare services and look at some of the challenges facing the industry. We will also discuss the steps that healthcare organizations can take to improve their cybersecurity posture.
The Current State of Cybersecurity in Healthcare Services
According to Security Magazine, the healthcare industry had an average number of 1,463 attacks per organization per week in 2022, a 74% increase from previous years. This points to the mounting evidence that increased digitalization increases the risk of cyber attacks. Cyber attacks can be costly for hospitals as they have to fortify their IT infrastructure. However, the most sinister part of these attacks is attackers gaining access to sensitive patient information, including medical history, which can be a major cause of concern.
One of the main reasons healthcare organizations are so vulnerable to cyber attacks is the vast amount of sensitive data they hold. This data can include patient names, addresses, social security numbers, medical histories, and financial information. This information is incredibly valuable on the black market and can be used to commit identity theft, insurance fraud, and other forms of financial crime. Therefore, healthcare services need to invest in high-end cybersecurity services due to the nature of the data they possess.
However, implementing a proper cybersecurity infrastructure in a hospital leads to several challenges.
Cybersecurity Challenges in Healthcare Services
A lack of awareness is perhaps the single greatest challenge when it comes to cybersecurity in healthcare services. Many hospitals do not understand the importance of cybersecurity and do not set up a separate budget for it in the hospital’s expenses. Many healthcare organizations might also not have the resources to hire a cybersecurity team, leaving their data vulnerable to attacks.
A cybersecurity challenge that is unique to the healthcare industry is the use of connected medical devices. These devices can include anything from pacemakers to insulin pumps to blood glucose monitors. While these devices have many benefits, they also pose significant cybersecurity risks. They can be hacked and manipulated to cause harm to patients and can also be used to gain access to a healthcare organization’s network.
An average hospital room, nowadays, contains 15-20 connected medical devices. Therefore, healthcare organizations are more vulnerable than ever to cyber attacks. This is a massive challenge that professional cybersecurity services can only surmount.
How Can Healthcare Services Improve Their Cybersecurity?
The increased digitization of healthcare organizations has made cybersecurity an essential expense. While many organizations may want to ride their luck, cyber attacks can be incredibly costly. They can also put the organization’s reputation on the line, which can immensely damage the overall organization.
To avoid any drastic impacts of cyber attacks, healthcare organizations must hire a professional cybersecurity consulting service to assess the situation and provide cybersecurity solutions. Here are a few ways cybersecurity services can improve a healthcare organization’s cybersecurity posture:
1. Risk Assessment
The first step in improving cybersecurity is to conduct a thorough risk assessment. This involves identifying all the potential threats to a healthcare organization’s systems and data and determining each threat’s likelihood and potential impact. Once these risks have been identified, cybersecurity can develop a mitigation plan and send them for the healthcare organization’s approval.
2. Updating Software and Systems Regularly
Another important step in improvingcybersecurity is keeping software and systems current. This includes installing the latest security patches and updates as soon as they become available. Professional cybersecurity services use automated tools to scan healthcare organizations’ systems for vulnerabilities and alert them to potential issues.
3. Controlling Access to Sensitive Data
Healthcare organizations can also improve cybersecurity by enforcing access controls. This involves limiting access to sensitive data and systems only to those needingit. Cybersecurity services set up role-based access controls to ensure only authorized users can access sensitive data. For example, some information will only be accessible to the more senior members of the staff, thus ensuring sensitive data is much harder to breach for cyber attackers.
4. Password Protection
Password protection is one of the most basic tenets of cybersecurity but remains one of the most effective ways to secure information. Cybersecurity services will set up password protection for all data on the healthcare organizations’ network and also set multi-step authentication in some cases. Using complex passwords and changing them regularly is another regular maintenance step that is done by cybersecurity teams to minimize any vulnerabilities.
Due to the increased digitization of healthcare organizations and a massive increase in cyberattacks, the outlook for the need for cybersecurity remains extremely positive. More and more organizations realize the need to hire professional and technically-skilled cybersecurity services to help them avoid data breaches.
Patients visit these organizations and provide sensitive information with the promise of privacy, and cyberattacks can betray that trust. Therefore, cybersecurity is indispensable for healthcare organizations.
If your healthcare organization is looking for cybersecurity solutions that fully fit your needs, GCtechinfo provides a highly qualified team that will work closely with your organization to create an improved security posture. If you are looking for cybersecurity consulting services that do not have an exorbitant cost, visit our webpage for more details.