Over the summer, the healthcare industry saw a spike in cyber-attacks. That might sound surprising—until you realize that healthcare is the top industry for cyber-attacks.
There’s a rich black market for stolen health data, and the truth is, most healthcare organizations are ill-equipped to protect their patients’ precious information.
If you want to keep the trust of your patients, your organization needs to do better. Here are two of the top problems in healthcare cybersecurity, along with data loss prevention strategies that you can use to keep patient information safe.
Legacy Medical Hardware Software
There’s no two ways around it: medical equipment is expensive.
Take an MRI machine, a vital diagnostic tool. A state-of-the-art machine can cost up to $3 million. CT angiograms, which form a composite X-ray picture of blocked arteries, cost at least $1,000. And that’s just two machines—a fully-equipped hospital or healthcare provider needs a whole roster of equipment to provide treatment.
When the tools of the trade are so expensive, it’s easy to squeeze by on costs for other equipment, like computer systems and healthcare network security systems.
But this legacy equipment isn’t just slow and uncooperative—it puts your whole system at risk. Outdated systems can’t keep pace with the most current security systems, leaving gaping holes for hackers to slip through.
The Solution: Update Your Health Information Technology
The solution: it’s time to update your technology.
If your technology isn’t up-to-date, you’re not leveraging the security you already have, and you’re not keeping your team up-to-date on the latest threats.
Remember, hackers evolve to match the technology of the times. If your technology is out of date, it’s that much easier for hackers to find a back door.
Physicians Want to Share Health Data
Another common problem lies with physicians.
In the era of personalized medicine, where patient data is collected through wearables and uploaded to the cloud, it’s easier than ever for doctors to get a complete picture of a patient’s health. That also means that it’s easier than ever for doctors to compare notes.
But in terms of healthcare information privacy and security, it’s an absolute nightmare.
Your system is only as strong as your weakest link. And every time doctors invite outside parties to view data in your system, they’re inviting potential threats to follow.
Let’s say a doctor needs to compare notes with a doctor in a different organization on the same patient. You work with this organization frequently, so your systems have a few points of entry. You’re both trustworthy and secure, so doctors assume that it’s fine to share sensitive data.
Here’s the problem: every point of entry into the system could be hacked. And if your system has links to an outside provider, a hacker doesn’t even need to hack your system to get your data. Instead, they can simply hack the outside provider and use them as a proxy to access your data.
However, doctors still need to share data to make informed decisions about their patients. What’s an IT team to do?
The Solution: Enforcing Data Governance Best Practices
The best thing your team can do to deal with this problem is to enforce data governance best practices.
Start by educating your staff on their role in your healthcare IT security. Many doctors, nurses, and staff members believe that the burden of security lies with the tech team, but everyone plays a part in keeping your organization secure.
Have regular training seminars to update your staff on the latest threats and issues in your system. Tell them what they can do to prevent future issues. And make sure that everyone is up-to-date on your data governance guidelines.
Stop Healthcare Security Breaches Before They Start
The truth is, many healthcare organizations simply don’t have the resources to dedicate to IT security. After all, they’re saving patients’ lives—there’s no time to worry about healthcare data breaches during open heart surgery.
If that sounds like your organization, it’s time to outsource your healthcare cybersecurity.
We’re a clinical data integration provider that does more than offer you software. We offer tailored solutions to your organization’s biggest obstacles built on a unified, intuitive platform.
Want to request a demo or find more information? Use our contact page to get in touch.