healthcaretechoutlook

Protecting Healthcare Data from Attacks

By Healthcare Tech Outlook

Amidst the influx of new cybersecurity trends and forecasts, 2018 has made securing patient information and systems front and center for healthcare experts. With cyber attacks and data breaches becoming more complex in healthcare, organizations are working hard to catch up with these threats. In 2017, 78 percent of healthcare providers experienced ransomware or malware attacks, which are expected to increase in 2018.

Electronic Health Records (EHRs), vulnerable to ransomware and malware attacks can be protected through data encryption, periodic backups and broader preventive measures like employee training, properly-configured firewalls, secure systems, and reliable access management policies.

Healthcare organizations often rely on legacy systems—while it might save money in the short term, outdated and unsecured systems often provide hackers with easy entry points into a network. Investing in new equipment, software, and hardware should be a top priority and if the costs are prohibitive, ensuring that all systems are up-to-date and on the latest security patches will be helpful in highlighting gaps and vulnerabilities in the network.

Cybersecurity policies and audit processes in healthcare technology need to change with evolving patient, vendor, and employee needs. 60 percent of providers lack an effective Identity and Access Management (IAM) policy. This exposes them to risks from internal threats like careless employees, vendors, and users. As a preventative measure, IAM policies should be periodically updated and reviewed to plug all gaps.

While manual risk assessment is typically a resource-heavy process that leaves room for error, a good cybersecurity solution will track activity logs and encrypt files. This will give users the control over keys and certificates, and build reports.

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