Cybersecurity threats against healthcare systems have increased since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic due to the adoption of new health technologies. During 2020, cyberattacks against health systems increased by forty-seven percent. Adopting stronger security measures will be essential to protecting patient data moving forward.
Causes of Increased Cybersecurity Threats
Healthcare providers faced a number of challenges during the pandemic, including staff shortages, overcrowding, the increased risk of infection, and time limitations. New technologies in the realm of digital health have been aiding providers in improving efficiency and overcoming these issues. For example, health systems have been transitioning to using platforms rooted in the cloud. Medical devices that collect patient data are also becoming more connected.
These technologies help streamline patient care, but they open up health systems to the threat of cyberattacks. Fifty-three percent of connected medical devices have at least one security vulnerability that is unaddressed. According to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society survey from 2020, seventy percent of hospitals had suffered from a security incident. This underscores the importance of protecting patient data in healthcare networks.
Improving Cybersecurity in Health Systems
In recent years, healthcare institutions have made an effort to improve security in the face of increasing cyberattacks. They have adopted a number of techniques to do this.
First, health institutions have focused on increased system integration to combat threats. System integration gives IT teams a full understanding of how secure a network is. It also allows them to apply security updates to all components of the connected systems.
Second, regular security updates must be applied to health networks. Security updates can include adding authentication tools and encrypting data. Additionally, monitoring networks consistently is key to ensuring that data is safe.
Third, due diligence with partners is essential to prevent attacks. Healthcare providers should coordinate with any partner vendors or organizations to ensure their data is secure, as well.
American Medical Compliance (AMC) is a leader in the industry for compliance, billing, and HR solutions. Learn more about protecting patient data by taking AMC’s HIPAA Regulations and Cybersecurity Training for Healthcare Personnel course. Visit https://americanmedicalcompliance.com/ for more information.
Healthcare IT News (2022, November 23). Cybersecurity pressures grow for hospitals as digital health tools multiply. Retrieved from: https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/emea/cybersecurity-pressures-grow-hospitals-digital-health-tools-multiply.