Curbing Healthcare Security Lapse

Curbing Healthcare Security Lapse

Healthcare Tech Outlook | Friday, November 30, 2018

A stranger snooping into or blocking your medical information is the utmost terrifying thing. Pop star Britney Spears’ breach of medical records in 2005 caused a media frenzy much like her music releases did back then. Medical workers were again tempted to spy on her non-psychiatric medical records during another stay in 2008. Naturally, over a dozen employees of the medical center were fired.

The healthcare sector has grasped on to the fact that if a healthcare organization experiences a cyber attack, AI cybersecurity tools can provide informed, real-time recommendations for these attacks. AI solutions provide insightful data analysis and improved patient care, but healthcare organizations have been lagging behind in the IT sector, causing risks in patient data security. Most of them have outdated firmware, old operating systems, and applications, which give rise to 33 percent of medical device-related issues. Hospitals with modern SIEM (security information and event management) tools have a better chance of preventing cyber attacks.

Security risks are magnified as a lot of hospitals and clinics implement connected devices for remote patient monitoring. The use of embedded browsers for web surfing on the medical workstations, unlicensed applications, and illegal browsers enhances cybersecurity attacks as unauthorized users can easily get admittance to potential access points. The lure of good money and easy access results in a multitude of ransomware attacks as well. They mostly affect vital parts of the system, such as EHRs (Electronic Health Records), delaying patient care, incurring financial losses and harming the organization’s reputation.

Being in the know about the evolving IT spectrum or having an expert team with in-depth knowledge on the subject is the key because the IT industry is incredibly fast-paced and changing every day. Hospital staff should be trained on cybersecurity measures and apprised of risks to the organization. Allowing only authorized people via multifactor authentication to acquire confidential information and completely restricting random visitor from free access goes a long way in securing the healthcare ecosystem.

Employee training, strong technology, and comprehensive disaster recovery planning will all be critical factors in thwarting a potential ransomware attack.

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