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Healthcare System Cybersecurity Challenges And The Future Of Healthcare

As healthcare continues moving to a digital-first model, cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important for providers, pharmaceutical companies, and healthcare marketers. Data shows that in February 2020 alone, over 1.5 million patient records were compromised in 39 data breaches of 500 or more records.

Keeping sensitive information secure is essential for organizations that need to comply with HIPAA regulations. In addition to remaining compliant, healthcare providers and organizations need to prevent data breaches that can significantly impact their image. One security breach can have long-lasting effects on an organization’s reputation.

This article will explore some of the leading cybersecurity challenges facing healthcare systems now and in the future.

3 Healthcare Cybersecurity Challenges

Healthcare organizations are particularly susceptible to data breaches because they possess critical information about patients that carry immense monetary value for cybercriminals.

Here are three cybersecurity challenges healthcare organizations need to be aware of today that will also impact the future of healthcare.

1. Patient data privacy protection

Medical identity theft has an economic impact of around $41 billion annually, making them more costly than other types of identity theft. Medical records sell for as much as 50 times the amount of different types of personal records on the dark web, making them a prime target for cybercriminals looking for an easy payday.

Why is medical identity theft such a hot ticket? It’s because patient records hold so much information, including Social Security Numbers, prescription information, and insurance information. Patient data is a treasure trove for cyber criminals who will either sell that data to the highest bidder or use it for their own gain, such as by submitting fraudulent insurance claims or filling prescriptions.

What to do

Healthcare organizations need to train personnel on how to prevent cyber attacks, such as not clicking on phishing emails or giving access to unauthorized users. In addition, hospitals and other healthcare organizations need to ensure their software is encrypted to prevent attacks from hackers.

2. Security breaches

Patient information isn’t the only data that needs to be protected in a healthcare organization. Cybersecurity attacks can also include phishing, in which a hacker knowingly impersonates a trustworthy email source to get users to click on a link that delivers personal information to the hacker. In addition, ransomware can block internal access to systems until a ransom is paid.

These attacks can derail healthcare organizations’ ability to provide patient care. They can also lead to distrust among patients who fall for phishing scams, lose money, or have their identities stolen.

What to do

Healthcare organizations must conduct regular IT audits to ensure their systems are protected and cannot be breached. They also need to conduct frequent training sessions with employees to ensure that everyone understands how to keep patient and organizational data safe and secure.

3. Wearable devices

As wearable technology becomes more integrated with healthcare, it will be necessary for healthcare providers to ensure that the information they receive from and send to patients is secure.

This may lead to some healthcare organizations developing their own wearable devices to ensure they are designed with strict cybersecurity measures. It may also lead to partnerships between healthcare organizations and wearable device manufacturers.

What to do

Healthcare providers must educate their patients on protecting their data and ensuring they are kept safe from hackers and scammers who want to steal their sensitive personal information.

They will also need to determine which wearable devices to recommend for patients based on the cybersecurity measures manufacturers have put in place.

The Future is Here

At HealthLink Dimensions, we can help you protect patient and provider data with secure email deployment, targeted marketing, and mobile optimization services. Contact us to learn more.


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