Hospital patients put a lot of trust in their providers, so breaches of health IT security are some of the worst possible IT-related issues. A ransomware attack can destroy systems and block doctors and nurses from accessing results from the patient lab, X-rays or even medicines. Theft of patient identity can end up leaving victims with severe financial and legal repercussions along with the trouble of rebuilding their credit. These are just two examples of how particularly devastating cyber attacks on healthcare groups and patient data can be. The effect and volume of cyberattacks on healthcare organizations are expected to increase dramatically in the years to come. Ransomware attacks on healthcare organizations are forecast to quadruple by 2020 in just one projection. Infosecurity Magazine identified Healthcare as the top targeted cybercrime vertical.
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The bottom line is that with the right set of cybersecurity tools, hospitals can still protect themselves from attacks. To tackle the new threats out there, cybersecurity tools are constantly evolving. Gone are the days when good firewall and antivirus software on desktops and servers was the only safety Health IT security required. Attacks today are advanced and coupled with social engineering, making all their endpoints more difficult for IT to secure and monitor. AI is a very advantageous safety feature that is present in modern tools that can analyze a large volume of data to spot abnormalities that may imply a breach, attack or infection. Lack of security tools or data protection policies does not always result in data breaches. In IP cameras, HVAC control systems, web servers, IoT and computer systems, hackers can discover vulnerabilities. In certain cases, password leaks or with the use of simple and predicable passwords can give them access. Unfortunately, each new piece of technology for hospitals offers another source for targeting attackers. Devices that patients take home also pose a high risk of cybersecurity of health care because they extend firewall provisions outside the hospital.
Cyberattacks will continue to build new methods of attack as hospitals continue to expand their adoption of technology. Though there are no assurances that any vendor can totally block or prevent data breaches and attacks, IT needs to select security systems that can safeguard their systems all over email, network, endpoint, IoT, and almost everything that can be a possible target for cyber criminals.