Healthcare organizations face the highest amount of cyber attacks every year. Patients trust their healthcare organization to safeguard their data; not lose it to a hacker. How can you help to ensure that your organization is safe from potential cyber attacks? Here’s everything you need to know about the importance of cybersecurity programs in protecting patient safety.

Why Hackers Prefer Healthcare Organizations

Healthcare organizations are a prime target for cyber attacks due to the amount of personal health information (PHI) these organizations store. Hackers target the information healthcare organizations have because of its large value. Personal health information specifically identifies an individual including their birth date, social security number, address, health history, and other important personal records. This information holds high value for hackers as they can steal a patient’s personal identity. Some other reasons hackers prefer to attack healthcare organizations include:

  • Healthcare information needs to be open and shareable.
  • Healthcare uses a network of connected devices.
  • Many organizations lack the ability to quickly implement new security procedures.
  • There is a high need for remote data access.

20% of ransomware victims are in the healthcare sector, suggesting it is targeted exclusively due to the complex data stored in their servers.

How Cyberattacks Threaten Patient Privacy and More

Private Information Breaches

The breach of private information can have destructive impact on your healthcare organization. In addition to losing your patient’s trust, you will be facing costly legal expenses and fines. Patients will be seeking compensation for their stolen data. Healthcare organizations face the consequences of canceled appointments and patients leaving their organization, as it is difficult to recover stolen data. Recovery from cyber attacks can be a long process that costs millions of dollars. Overall, 19% of cyber attacks on healthcare organizations resulted in canceled appointments and 14% of attacks results in patients being redirected.

IoT Devices

Medical devices are an easy entry point for hackers since they are connected to a network. Although medical devices play a critical role in today’s advancement in medicine, these devices come with the downside of an increased risk in cyber attacks. Although these devices may not hold patient data, they can be used to access the network that holds the sensitive information sought out by hackers. When medical devices are attacked, consequences can be fatal. The slightest malfunction in life saving technology can have a deadly result.

Steps to Protect Your Organization

In healthcare, it is vital to give your patients results as soon as possible, leaving no room for ransomware slowing down the process. Healthcare organizations can take several steps to strengthen their cybersecurity program. From protecting critical data with firewalls to limiting network access through authorization, healthcare organizations can employ a plethora of cybersecurity practices. Some steps to protect your organization include:

  • Keeping Communications Secured
  • Protecting Critical Data
  • Encrypting All Data
  • Limiting Physical Access to Data
  • Using Multi Factor Authentication
  • Regularly Updating All Devices
  • Monitoring File Access
  • Conducting Regular Employee Security Training
  • Defining Policies to Retain or Discard Data
  • Investing into Cybersecurity Software

The most important step to take in protecting your organization from a cyber attack is to create a culture of security among your employees. Many healthcare organizations do not take the time to properly train employees regarding their cybersecurity program. Your employees are the first line of defense against cyber attacks, as they are key in protecting patient information. Employees should have a response plan ready to be enacted in times of a security breach. Everyone should know their specific role in the response plan to ensure speedy recovery for your organization.

Stay Secure with Kyber Security

As the cyber threat landscape constantly evolves, your security measures should be one step ahead.  Kyber Security has dedicated professionals experienced in protecting your organization from ever increasing cyber threats.  We will work tirelessly to keep your company protected from cyber-attacks.