Cybersecurity in Healthcare 101: What You Need to Know

By David Fetterolf, Stratus Video President

Cybersecurity has become a vital component of security measures for most industries. While the digitization of consumer information streamlines processes, it also puts information at risk. A rising number of cyberattacks are launched each year to attempt to gain access to consumer information, which is then utilized to perform various cybercrimes. In healthcare alone, the number of breaches more than tripled from 2018 to 2019.

Healthcare Organizations Are at High Risk

Healthcare organizations are particularly vulnerable because of the digitization of patient information, the complex infrastructure they have and the large number of staff that is involved with handling and distributing patient information. In addition, the type of information that is digitized is highly valuable to cybercriminals, as it contains patients’ full names, addresses, contact information, social security numbers and more. There are large consequences at stake when it comes to a healthcare breach, including a significant loss of funds, compliance and patient trust. Worst of all, if healthcare operations are compromised, patient outcome is at stake.

How to Protect Your Organization

The first step to protecting your organization is awareness. Train healthcare staff on what threats are out there and how to avoid them. The most common cyberthreats in 2019 in healthcare were:

  • Phishing Emails (nearly 60%): cybercriminals request sensitive information to directly transfer funds or use as a foothold for additional access.

  • Human Error (25%): staff sends patient data to the wrong person, data permissions are misconfigured or malicious insider activity takes place.

  • Partner Ecosystem (10%): a breach takes place with a healthcare vendor, consultant or client, acting as a backdoor entryway into the hospital infrastructure.

Key protection measures include extending security beyond the hospital infrastructure and taking steps to safeguard against internal threats. Ongoing staff training is essential to ensure protection against the latest attack methods.

Stratus Video recently broadcasted an educational webinar on cybersecurity in healthcare hosted by cybersecurity expert, Thomas McDonald of Paladion. To learn more about the latest threats and discover additional tips to protect your organization, view the webinar recording here.

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