Advances in modern medicine have resulted in greater precision in healthcare and better patient outcomes. Healthcare providers are becoming increasingly reliant on digitization, and as such are becoming larger targets for cyber criminals and raising the stakes to protect high-value patient data.
Healthcare systems and providers have seen an increase in cyber-attacks since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Cloud services are growing in popularity, and as more devices are connecting across more networks, it creates a larger attack surface and increases the threat.
As new technologies emerge, it is becoming more challenging to manage the associated risks and security issues, yet investments in cybersecurity are decreasing. Security managers need to demonstrate clear ROI on their existing cybersecurity investments and are adjusting to automating tasks wherever possible.
Medical information such as images, test results, and physicians’ notes are stored electronically, and there are many rules including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) that exist to protect this information. Healthcare groups must follow security measures to protect patient privacy and confidentiality while developing safeguards to ensure the security of electronic medical information.
A core value of healthcare is the protection of information regarding patient care. Patient privacy is comprised of a number of aspects such as physical privacy, informational privacy, decisional privacy, and associational privacy. In addition, physicians also aim to minimize intrusion on privacy, inform patients of any privacy infringements, and be mindful of any individual privacy concerns.
Electronic medical information can affect the quality of care that patients receive, and it impacts the legal responsibilities and work practices of healthcare professionals. Cybersecurity protection methods need to keep medical information private, as well as allow doctors proper access to complete medical histories, ensuring that they can make better decisions for treatment without any delays, effectively saving lives.
The healthcare industry utilizes Internet of Things (IoT) devices which rely on secure networks for keeping patients healthy. Any compromise to the cloud or network would put patients at risk. Cybersecurity professionals are growing increasingly concerned by cyberattacks and believe that they will continue to increase unless appropriate action is taken.
Many different safeguards are used to protect the privacy, security, and integrity of patients’ medical information. Physical safeguards include restricted physical access, proper disposal of outdated devices, data backup conduction, encrypted storage/devices, and emergency protocol maintenance.
There are also several technical safeguards such as providing specific methods for incident reports, conducting audit trials and policy enforcement, as well as security policy and accountability documentation, IRB approval, and staff training on security policies. Security policy and procedures for electronic medical records include authentication, authorization, availability, confidentiality, data integrity, and nonrepudiation.Also read: How to Start An E-commerce Business From Scratch in 2021
Technology is being relied upon more and more, and finding the right people to deploy technologies is what provides real protection, requiring a change in cultural and governance attitudes. In the event of a cyberattack, undesirable situations can occur, but numerous problems can be prevented with the investment and fortification of cybersecurity.
Prioritizing cybersecurity can lead to better preparation and protection against potentially catastrophic cyberattacks. Investing in cybersecurity equips companies with robust defenses that could prevent seasoned hackers from gaining access to valuable data.
Ensuring the correct implementation of cybersecurity can be done by focusing on a few areas.
IoT devices are utilized in all aspects of healthcare, from patients’ equipment to data entry platforms for workers, which are all interconnected on a cloud where the information is stored. Therefore, a strong cybersecurity plan is vital to prevent hackers from accessing the cloud and its devices.
Although shifting healthcare systems to virtual platforms is more convenient, they are at a greater risk of compromise, and when access to confidential information is breached, patients begin to lose trust in the systems. Patient privacy and the protection of medical information should be a top priority, and cybersecurity measures can help prevent any future data breaches.
Furthermore, healthcare employees should be able to identify warning signs that help them recognize phishing schemes and data breaches, should understand the risks of cyberattacks, and hence the need to invest in cybersecurity.
There are three ways in which to improve ROI on cybersecurity investments.
As a digital footprint expands and the attack surface grows, it is critical to be proactive and address major potential threats. It’s important to stay in touch and remediate gaps within existing tech stacks and bring risks and assets in line with corporate security policies.
Relying on traditional security processes often wastes manpower, allowing real potential threats to pass through, but this can be prevented by automating risk discovery and assessment processes.
Using data and metrics to provide visibility and insights into risks across expanding digital ecosystems can help prioritize cybersecurity investments and have the greatest impact. Making strategic, data-driven decisions allows for better allocation of resources and can reduce cyber risks.
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