The Healthcare industry is home to some of the most sensitive and confidential information across the world. Patient records are no longer physically stored. Instead, they are digitized for the modern world. While being able to access patient records from the palm of your hand is helpful, speedy, and efficient, it, unfortunately, poses serious threats to personal information.
The Healthcare industry faces a myriad of cybersecurity-related issues, and many of them are costly. Data breaches cost the healthcare industry approximately $5.6 billion every year.
We’ve outlined the top cyber threats the healthcare industry faces right now.
- Malware and Ransomware: Cybercriminals use malware and ransomware to shut down devices and networks inside hospitals. In an industry that cannot afford even a single minute of downtime, these types of attacks can be incredibly expensive. Organizations in the healthcare space need to keep up to date on all anti-virus software, implement email filtering, and maintain proper backups.
- Data Breaches: Data breaches are costly to any organization; however, personal health information breaches are much more lucrative for criminals. A typical stolen record costs $158 on the black market, but in the healthcare industry, that price rises to $355. There are HIPAA rules in place to protect electronic health records; however, organizations in the healthcare industry also need to ensure proper data encryption and ensure that employees are trained on how to spot a cyber threat. Human error still accounts for 99% of data breaches in any given industry.
- Mobile Devices: Many health and wellness programs, including healthcare payments, virtual doctor’s visits, and mobile lookup of patient data, are becoming available on mobile devices. Doctors and patients are increasingly using mobile devices (phones and tablets) to access sensitive information and provide better patient care; however, this poses a bigger potential security risk for the healthcare industry.
In Q3, there were 88 breaches of patient records, and these attacks are not slowing down. The US healthcare sector experienced a 71% increase in ransomware attacks in October, compared to the previous month, which is the highest among any industry.