Digital security is becoming an ever-increasing concern for the healthcare sector around the United States. There are countless cases of hospitals, doctor’s offices, or urgent care clinics experiencing cyberattacks that could compromise patient safety and health information.
Rather than allowing such an incident to occur, facilities need to ensure they have a proper data capture system and cybersecurity defense setup in place. There is no method for preventing someone from leaking information they have stolen through a cyber hack, but facilities can ensure such hacks do not happen in the first place.
Below is a guide that explains the importance of cybersecurity in the healthcare sector in 2022 and beyond.
Connection Between The Healthcare Sector And Cyber security
Protecting Patient Privacy
The number one reason why people attempt to hack into medical systems is that they want to steal confidential patient information. When a patient comes into a clinic or hospital, all their information is stored online as part of their health record.
Not only do those health records reveal information about a patient’s trips to the doctor or hospital, but they also include the person’s full name, date of birth, address, social security number, ID card information, and insurance details.
Someone who accesses healthcare systems would have all that information at their fingertips. They could use those details to steal people’s identities, or they may choose to sell all those health records to another party in bulk.
Vulnerable Legacy Systems
A serious issue for many healthcare practices is that legacy systems may not be as well protected even if they have newer systems with cybersecurity measures. Replacing those legacy systems is of vital importance but can cost a lot of time and money.
Healthcare facilities must make it a priority in 2022 to replace as many of their legacy systems as possible. The process does take time and comes with many challenges. Staff will require training on new systems, there may be some downtime as legacy systems are replaced, and some programs may not pair nicely with the new system.
Provider And Staff Education
Even with the most robust cybersecurity measures in place, every facility is vulnerable to phishing schemes. Most people have an awareness of phishing, as they understand that malicious actors attempt to get them to divulge information or click on links that can cause damage to a computer or network.
The issue is that most healthcare facilities have a large number of full-time and part-time employees. Almost everyone who works for a healthcare company is likely to have online access to their systems, either when they are working at a healthcare facility or when they are working remotely.
Every doctor’s office, clinic, and hospital must ensure that its staff is receiving thorough and frequent training on how to identify and deal with phishing scams. Employees must know that opening any link within an email they do not recognize is a grave threat to the entire system, as hackers only need one entry point to access protected information.
Responding To New Threats
One of the challenges that healthcare practices and businesses in general face is that cyber threats are always evolving. Hackers around the world are constantly searching for loopholes and vulnerabilities that can give them access to protected systems.
Not only must doctors’ offices and hospitals ensure they are safe against present threats, but they must stay on top of new cyberattacks that are emerging. Only with a robust cybersecurity system can a healthcare facility ensure that patients, providers, and staff are safe from anyone who would attempt to hack into the network and steal protected information.
Keep Patients And Providers Safe
There are two significant reasons why every healthcare facility must have a robust online system to prevent cyberattacks.
The first is that any hack could result in the theft and leaking of confidential patient information. When a patient comes into a clinic, they believe their health details are being kept confidential and secure.
Another reason to have robust defenses against online threats is to protect your providers and staff. Since your healthcare management system likely has their information on file, any attack could compromise details about their job or personal lives.
The above guide explains why cybersecurity is so relevant to the healthcare sector in 2022.