Many businesses and business systems are becoming more susceptible to online cyberattacks. One of the industries that faces many risks for these attacks is the healthcare sector. The industry is viewed as a target-rich environment, because of the sensitive data that healthcare practices maintain for operations and patient care. Cyberattacks in the healthcare sector are due to many challenges and weaknesses within the industry, but like with other business systems, there is a work around that will eventually remedy these issues. 

Evaluating the Healthcare Cybersecurity Market

The healthcare cybersecurity market is projected to grow to $39 million by 2027. Data breaches are the leading cybersecurity trends in the healthcare market. From 2015-2019, 157.40 million healthcare records were exposed. Data breaches cost businesses an average of $7.13 million in 2020. Cyber breaches that disclose sensitive information carry a risk of loss in consumer confidence, litigation costs, and federal enforcement actions due to regulations centered around patient confidentiality. Because of the increased potential for risk, especially in the aftermath of COVID-19, more healthcare professionals are building towards developing a bulletproof cybersecurity plan, which explains the rapid growth in the market. 

What Factors put the Healthcare Industry at Risk?

There are many factors that prompt cyberattacks in the healthcare sector. Some of which include the following:

1- Easy access for Medical Devices

Medical devices like x-rays, insulin pumps, defibrillators, EKG machines, etc, play a vital role in modern healthcare settings. Yet, for those in charge of online security and protecting patient data, these new devices open up points of entry for attacks. Since many of these medical devices are designed for specific purposes, security is not always an issue of concern in the final design, even if it should be. 

Despite the fact that the devices are not capable of storing patient data, attackers can still leverage the devices to launch attacks on servers that do have valuable information. In the worst types of situations, it can still be plausible for hackers to completely overtake medical devices, which could prevent patients from receiving the treatments they need to be healthy.  By having secured network devices, it can lessen the chances of severe attacks.

2- Lack of Education for Online Risks

A majority of medical professionals might not have the proper training to identify and remove online threats. Due to daily operations, constraints in budget, resources, it’s not feasible for all healthcare staff to be well-versed in cybersecurity practices. These solutions are intricate, but there is an ever-growing demand for their interface to remain simple. Medical staff need ease of access when navigating through secure networks. But more importantly, they need reassurance in knowing that their patient data is protected. SSO and MFA can add extra layers of security that don’t require users to know more beyond their login credentials.

3- Legacy Technology can make Industries Unprepared

Even with all the modern innovations in healthcare technology, not every facility has kept up with the acceleration. Limited budgets and the unwillingness to learn new systems means that their medical technology is becoming outdated. Hospitals that use strategies that involve system updates should keep all of their software equipped with the most up-to-date version. Software updates always contain bug fixes, keeping your systems as secure as possible. Yet when more time passes, the software will eventually become legacy or end of life, and vendors will stop releasing updates and patches. 

In situations where a business is unable to upgrade to more secure software or if medical staff doesn’t want to deal with the stress of a transition, it is still possible to cut back the risk of cyberattacks by adding another layer of security. MFA can decrease the lateral movement of an attacker through your network, making it harder to infiltrate your protected systems. 

Preventing Cyberattacks in the Healthcare Sector

Healthcare organizations need to be doing much more than annual risk assessments and occasional tests. Even though we are seeing an uptick in enhanced cybersecurity measures in the field, organizations are only spending about 6% or less on their IT budget. Enhancements can be made with the following key measures:

  • Training staff to better understand the severity of breaches
  • Using MFA or 2FA
  • Developing more application programming interfaces (APIs)
  • Using privileged access management tools to limit the ability of attackers gaining access to passwords or other sensitive data

If you want to bolster your defenses, it would be best to employ a team of IT professionals who are acutely aware of developing strategies for every unique business type. RHYNO Networks will help your organization prevent cyberattacks in the healthcare sector. To learn more about our targeted solutions and how to get started, contact us today! 

Cyberattacks in the Healthcare Sector