A new survey reveals that many healthcare providers plan to invest in data breach protection. A recent study named IT Risks in Healthcare Infographics 2017 gathered information based on feedback provided by IT specialists working in healthcare organisations worldwide.
Off the back of breaches that have plagued the healthcare industry for years, many organisations may now be finally planning to invest more in data protection and cybersecurity.
It’s about time…
The value of medical information
In terms of data breaches, the healthcare industry is one of the most impacted industries. Medical records are goldmines; they contain a wealth of information on people, and a lot of it is very sensitive and very personal.
According to Forbes, your electronic medical health records could be worth hundreds or even thousands of pounds. As medical records are quickly becoming digitalised worldwide, this could be music to the ears of any cyberattacker with quicker and easier access to personal and sensitive data.
The landscape of the healthcare industry has changed a lot over the last decade, and a lot of medical records have moved from paper files to digital files. Whilst this can really save our environment and make the healthcare industry so much more efficient, it can open up digital doorways which cybercriminals will attempt to force open given the opportunity.
We all know there are significant benefits of having electronic based medical records, and digital systems are used in the vast majority of healthcare organisations nowadays. But, as mentioned above, this also means that medical records are more susceptible to cyberattacks and subsequent fraudulent behaviour.
Desirability of medical records
Robert Lord, a former analytics systems designer for Bridgewater Associates, notes the desirability of your medical records:
“…the medical record is the most comprehensive record about the identity of a person that exists today.”
You can change financial information in the event of suspicious activity, but your medical records cannot be altered. Once the information is out there, it’s hard to ever really resolve the spread of it.
Having your medical records accessed could lead to serious embarrassment, and cyberattackers can use your information against you, in theory, for a lifetime. For example, if your medical records contain very sensitive information like sexually transmitted diseases, it’s understandable as to why you wouldn’t want that kind of information to get out.
That’s why it’s crucial for data controllers like healthcare organisations to ensure they have top-notch cybersecurity.
The Netwrix survey revealed some shocking statistics:
|95% of healthcare organisations don’t use any software for information security governance or risk management.|
|68% of healthcare providers don’t have a separate cybersecurity function.|
|56% of healthcare organisations perceive employees to be the biggest threat to system availability and security.|
|31% of healthcare organisations claim to be well prepared to beat IT risks.|
|The majority of healthcare organisations indicated lack of budget (75%), time (75%) and appropriate participation of senior management (44%) as the main obstacles to taking a more efficient approach towards management of cyber-risks.|
|47% of healthcare providers have had security incidents caused by human error.|
One statistic did however show that healthcare organisations are acknowledging the need for cybersecurity. According to the study, 56% of healthcare organisations plan to invest in security solutions to protect against data breaches.
We will have to see how things shape up in the future.
IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.
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