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Cyber security in Healthcare: Protecting Patient Data from Threats

Introduction The healthcare industry has recently become a high-priority target for cybercriminals. Healthcare organizations are responsible for safeguarding sensitive data, including personal information of patients and doctors. The risk of a cyber-attack on the healthcare industry is constantly growing as hackers are becoming more sophisticated and innovative in their methods. It is estimated Pharmacist Email […]

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Cyber security in Healthcare: Protecting Patient Data from Threats

Introduction

The healthcare industry has recently become a high-priority target for cybercriminals. Healthcare organizations are responsible for safeguarding sensitive data, including personal information of patients and doctors. The risk of a cyber-attack on the healthcare industry is constantly growing as hackers are becoming more sophisticated and innovative in their methods. It is estimated Pharmacist Email List that roughly one million Americans fall victim to identity theft each year due to incidents involving medical records or health insurance information. One need look no further than 2019’s recent Winery attack to understand how vulnerable your organization may be to such breaches. However, with proper cyber security measures in place, these attacks can be prevented or mitigated before they happen.

There is no doubt that healthcare is one of the most prominent industries that are vulnerable to cyber threats.

There is no doubt that healthcare is one of the most prominent industries that are vulnerable to cyber threats. In fact, it has been reported that over half of all organizations in the world have experienced a breach within the past year.

The healthcare industry collects an enormous amount of data on their patients, which makes them an attractive target for hackers looking to make money from stolen information Pharmacist Email List or personal health details. Additionally, because hospitals and medical centres often store sensitive financial information about patients (such as insurance claims), they may also be targeted by criminals who want this data for their own gain or exploitation purposes.

The risk of a cyber-attack on the healthcare industry is constantly growing.

The healthcare industry is a major target for cyber-attacks. In fact, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has reported that in 2015 there were over 240 million health care records exposed in data breaches.

The healthcare industry is vulnerable to cyber-attacks because it operates on outdate technology and lacks the resources necessary to secure its data from hackers.

Additionally, the pace at which this industry grows makes it difficult for them to keep up with cyber security measures needed protect patient information from threats like ransom ware or data theft by malicious actors who seek personal financial gain by selling sensitive information online or blackmailing victims into paying ransoms through crypto currencies such as Bit coin

The threat landscape for healthcare organizations has changed dramatically in recent years.

The threat landscape for healthcare organizations has changed dramatically in recent years. Healthcare is the most targeted industry and faces an increasing number of cyber threats. According to a study by Ponemon Institute, there were 2,500 data breaches reported in 2017 alone–a 20% increase from 2016. In addition to these large-scale breaches, smaller incidents such as malware infections or ransomware attacks are becoming more common as well.

Hackers know how valuable patient data can be in today’s world of health technology innovation; they want access to it so they can sell it on the dark web or use it for identity theft purposes (e.g., creating fake medical records). As a result, hackers are targeting hospitals through phishing scams where they send emails with attachments containing malicious software that will infect computers when opened by unsuspecting employees at hospitals who think these emails are legitimate communications from legitimate entities such as vendors or suppliers asking for information about patients’ medical histories

Here are three steps that healthcare organizations can take to improve their cyber security posture.

  • Establish an effective cyber security program and workforce:
  • Establish a comprehensive cyber security program that includes policies, procedures, and resources to support information security efforts. As part of this effort, you should consider adopting the NIST Cyber security Framework (CSF) as a roadmap for your organization’s overall approach to protecting sensitive information assets. The CSF provides guidance on how to assess risks; develop strategies for managing those risks; put in place the resources needed to execute those strategies; monitor progress against goals; measure success through metrics such as uptime or availability of services rather than just focusing on compliance issues such as whether all systems are patched up-to-date with current updates from vendors.*
  • Proactively identify and address gaps in your cyber security program:

As part of an on-going review process at least annually–and more frequently when major changes occur within your organization or industry–you should evaluate where there are gaps between current practices versus best practices according to industry standards like those issued by NIST.*

Establish an effective cyber security program and workforce

Establishing an effective cyber security program and workforce is a multifaceted challenge. Before you begin, it’s important to define the problem–and your goals–in order to ensure that your approach is effective. The best place to start? With yourself.

First, write down all of your personal fitness goals in one place so that they’re easy for you (and others) to access when needed. Then use this list as inspiration when working out or eating right: if one of my goals was “lose 10 pounds by March,” then I would make sure not only that my diet was balanced but also that I was getting enough exercise each week so that those pounds would come off easily! You can apply this same principle here: if one of our main challenges is hiring new employees who are skilled at cyber security, then maybe instead of focusing on finding someone who has experience with HIPAA compliance requirements or implementing encryption tools within our network infrastructure as part ocular tasks; we should focus more broadly on recruiting people who have demonstrated aptitude in information technology fields generally – whether through college courses taken during undergrad studies or even internships held during high school summers (both types may be available at local community colleges).

Proactively identify and address gaps in your cyber security program

A risk-based approach is critical to ensuring the best protection of patient data. As you evaluate your cyber security program, it’s important to use a framework that guides your efforts and provides an objective measure of your current level of security. There are numerous cyber security maturity models available; some are industry-specific (e.g., healthcare), while others are more general in scope (e.g., NIST). Each model has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to choose one that fits your organization’s needs while still providing helpful guidance on how to improve its security posture over time.

Once you’ve chosen an appropriate maturity model, take an honest look at where your organization stands today–not just in terms of technical controls but also with respect to policies and processes around data governance, incident response planning/execution/reviewing results from testing activities such as penetration testing/vulnerability assessments etc., staff training requirements etc.. Identify any gaps between where things stand today versus where they should be given what we know about threats facing healthcare organizations today versus those from five years ago when many were first starting out their journey toward becoming HIPAA compliant.”

Take action when you identify a threat or vulnerability.

If you identify a threat or vulnerability, take action. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Don’t be afraid to make changes and ask for help when necessary.

Don’t be afraid to admit when you need help

Conduct regular vulnerability assessments, penetration tests, and mock attacks.

A vulnerability assessment is an analysis of your healthcare system’s security posture, identifying weaknesses and recommending solutions. A penetration test involves testing your network for vulnerabilities by attempting to penetrate it with malicious intent.

A mock attack simulates a cyber-attack on your organization in order to test its response capabilities. These tests should be conducted regularly, and the results reviewed by staff members from across departments (including IT) so they can identify areas that need improvement or further education on cyber security best practices.

Protect yourself from security breaches now before its too late!

Cyber security in healthcare is a growing concern, and it’s important to protect yourself from security breaches now before it’s too late!

Why? Because your patients’ data is valuable and can be used against them. If someone gets access to this data, they could use it for malicious purposes such as identity theft or blackmailing the patient. If you don’t want this happening on your watch, then follow these steps:

  • Use strong passwords with numbers and symbols (i.e., “password1”) instead of only letters (i.e., “p@ssword1”). This makes it harder for hackers because they are more likely than not going to guess wrong on their first try if there are symbols involved in the password creation process.* Make sure all devices connected to Wi-Fi networks have firewalls enabled so no one else can access them without permission from whoever owns said device(s).

Conclusion

Healthcare organizations should not wait to address their cyber security risks–it’s better to be proactive than reactive. Healthcare providers should adopt an effective cyber security program, identify and address gaps in their programs, and conduct regular vulnerability assessments, penetration tests, and mock attacks. By doing so, they can keep their patients’ data safe from cyber-attacks while also improving the overall security posture of their organization

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WRITTEN BY

lawranick

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