The healthcare industry is experiencing a surge in cyber attacks, primarily due to the vast amounts of valuable patient data and financial resources it handles. As such, it is imperative that those in the healthcare industry know the top cybersecurity issues and adopt appropriate measures to safeguard their data.
To this end, we have prepared a comprehensive guide that covers everything you need to know about the most pressing cybersecurity challenges facing the healthcare industry. By familiarizing yourself with these issues and implementing the recommended strategies, you can better protect your organization and your patient's sensitive information.
Top Cybersecurity Issues Facing the Healthcare Industry
Most of the current top security concerns of 2023 involve data being illegally accessed in one way or another. In this section, we'll be closely examining some specific issues you should be concerned with.
Why does the healthcare industry suffer from so many data breaches? Doesn't HIPAA require organizations to follow strict security protocols regarding patient data?
While it's true that HIPAA does have these requirements, the reality is that many facilities either need more resources to implement them.
This leaves them with many gaps in their security. And unfortunately, data breaches are costly. One report found that the average healthcare data breach costs $10 million.
Ransomware attacks are a form of malware that extorts the victim after the criminal gains access to an organization's network, systems, hardware, and data. Once the individual has access, they'll begin encrypting all the files and data used by your healthcare facilities.
Then, they'll demand a ransom if you want access back. Ransomware attacks are insidious in any industry, but this is especially true for the healthcare sector.
Researchers found that nearly half of all healthcare ransomware attacks disrupt hospital services for patients. That means it's not just your facility suffering but your patients.
Want to learn why your security tools aren't stopping ransomware attacks? Read this guide to discover the answer.
Passwords to eHealth Portals Are Being Stolen
Many cybercriminals are using apps and browsers to steal patients' passwords to log in to their eHealth portals. Why do they do this? So that they can blackmail the individual personally or coerce them into helping to extort their employer.
See, the criminal will threaten to publicize or sell their private data, especially potentially embarrassing medical conditions. They also like to use this access to increase their knowledge of the victim and to access other parts of their lives which may be more embarrassing or financially damaging if misused. From there, they'll have no choice but to negotiate with the individual that stole it.
Related: Top Network Attacks and Security Issues to Look For In 2023
Vulnerable Legacy Systems
Old-age systems are an extreme threat to the healthcare industry. It's important to note that these systems can't just be patched. They must be entirely replaced to be updated in a modern IT infrastructure.
Sadly, many healthcare organizations don't have the budget to do this. As such, they remain vulnerable to attacks.
Phishing is when a cybercriminal sends a false email or phone call to gain access to an individual's password info or other types of personal data.
This type of cybersecurity issue is shared with patients. However, it can be devastating if it happens to a team member at your organization.
Attacks on Healthcare's Complex Supply Chains
Attackers start with more uncomplicated access points and work towards a more secure center. Your nurse's station may be vital in gaining control of the entire hospital.
For example, a healthcare facility might hire a third party to handle any EMRs they might have. An individual might attempt to target this third-party provider to gain access to the data.
The same goes for medical supplies and services, like pharmacies, provider alliances, and medical supply companies. Even billing companies, web hosts, and consultants are vulnerable in the supply chain.
Medical Devices and Equipment
These days, medical devices and equipment are connected to the healthcare network. They do this so they can transmit critical patient information directly.
Sadly, many healthcare facilities need to remember these pieces of equipment. As such, they remain an unsecured entry point that criminals can access.
More organizations than ever before, including healthcare ones, are switching to cloud-based storage. There are some excellent reasons why. It's more affordable, and it's faster for doctors to access. However, it's important to remember that with the cloud comes cloud-based threats.
The reality is that cloud attacks are more significant and faster for criminals. They're bigger because millions likely have access to your central server.
And they're more immediate because cloud environments work off of APIs that provide hackers instant, faster-than-ever access to their programs to download or delete data rapidly.
Related: There will be no "digital Pearl Harbor."
Poorly Established Cybersecurity and Governance Policies
Healthcare organizations should maintain strict documentation regarding their security policies and testing assessment. What's more, the organization should regularly invest in its cybersecurity infrastructure. Sadly, this should happen more often than it is.
The reality is that many healthcare leaders think it's a waste of time or money to invest in cybersecurity. After all, isn't a new MRI machine preferable to a new firewall?
Sadly, this attitude can land the organization in enormous debt after a devastating attack. That's why it's important to always leave a little money in your healthcare budget for cybersecurity development and policies.
Related: The CyberCrucible Appliance
What You Can Do About It
Hopefully, at this point, we've convinced you that there are a lot of healthcare cybersecurity issues that you should be taken seriously. Unfortunately, knowing how to secure them can often feel overwhelming. So here are four things you can do to improve your security posture:
- Increase Your Visibility: The reality is that you can't protect against what you can't see. That's why we recommend investing in a surface monitoring solution that can detect attacks before they even begin.
- Invest in Cybersecurity Awareness - Investing in cybersecurity training for your employees is critical to enhancing your organization's security posture and protecting against cyber attacks. Regular training helps employees recognize and respond appropriately to potential threats, creating a security-aware culture that safeguards critical data and assets.
- Know Your Third-Party Vendors - Many attacks occur because of subpar third-party vendors. Ensure you use qualified vendors like CyberCrucible that work well with other security vendors.
- Invest in MFA - Did you know that most cyber attacks can be prevented with multi-factor authentication? It's a simple security control that's always worth implementing.
The problem with traditional Defense in Depth is that multiple types of software and tech go toward protecting one risk while other risks remain entirely unprotected. Luckily, solutions like CyberCrucible ensure you get total and automated ransom extortion protection from attackers.
Want to discover more about how CyberCrucible can help your healthcare cybersecurity? Contact us today, and we'll answer any inquiries you might have.
Be A Healthcare Provider With Healthy Cybersecurity
As a healthcare provider, you have a duty to your patients to protect any sensitive data related to their health. That means that a dependable cybersecurity strategy should be essential to any facility. Check out this guide to learn more about the five crucial pillars of cybersecurity.