The healthcare sector is one of the most risk-prone sectors to cyber attacks across the globe. With consistent cyber attacks on the healthcare sector in recent times. It can be said that this growing sector has undoubtedly caught the attention of cyber attackers.
As per a report released by IBM in 2016, healthcare comes under the top five sectors that are targeted by cyber attackers.
One of the major reasons healthcare has become a soft target for cyber attackers is the increased use of the Internet of things (IoT).
The spread of the Internet of things has led to a lot of open, vulnerable digital spaces in the healthcare sector. The increase in the number of devices and objects connected to the internet has given many access points for hackers to hack into the system. When it comes to medical devices, the usage isn’t trivial instead they communicate life-saving data with the medical staff. It is where the danger lies in cyber attacks on health care systems, as the devices are involved in some critical procedures and treatments. Interference with a life-saving device can prove fatal.
With more digital transformation happening in the sector and IOT digging deeper into the health care system, the need for cybersecurity in health care has increased manifold.
Hospitals and healthcare organisations are victims to more than 85% of ransomware attacks. They are regular targets of such attacks because they carry sensitive information and always need immediate access to data for patient care. The absence of medical records in hospitals can lead their patients to catastrophic consequences. So hospitals have no choice but to pay ransom in such a critical condition.
Though, the good news is healthcare organisations are becoming more aware of the danger of cyber attacks. Healthcare organisations are paying attention to possible ways to make their data systems safe and secure. Measures are being taken to enhance the security of their cyber networks. Here I list down four steps to lower the risk of cyber attacks on your healthcare organisation, and they are as follows:
- Review your cybersecurity systems and identify the potential leaks in the cybersecurity system- Conduct a review of your cybersecurity systems, identify the vulnerable access points. According to the weak points of your healthcare systems and assumed nature of attacks, prepare an emergency response plan. The administration in the hospitals should make sure that they hire at least one cybersecurity professional to ensure complete security for their cyber systems.
- Talk about cybersecurity with your partners and people you work with - Even though a healthcare organisation would have the best security system available, the loophole would be there within the network of associated organisations. It may not be right for every associate but being aware of the risk is better than being caught unaware in a crisis.
- Have a backup ready in case of a massive ransomware attack - Organisations falling victim to ransomware attacks is something that is happening quite regularly in recent times. Healthcare organisations should make sure they have a backup to all the data they have in their systems. The data involved is essential - critical as lives are affected and a healthcare organisation losing data can put a lot of lives at risk.
- Educating the hospital staff on cybersecurity- Educate your staff about cybersecurity systems. From lower level employees to the administrative level, make them aware of what cybersecurity is and the potential risks hovering over it. Timely sessions with employees reminding them of the perils of cyber attacks and the damage hackers can do will take your organisation a long way in maintaining your cyber health.
Cybersecurity is very important for your organisation as the world is going through a complete digital transformation. It needs to be included in the list of your priorities, once it is added, it will be discussed more and efforts would be made to make it better.
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