2020 was, obviously, a challenging year for healthcare providers. In addition to the obvious issue of the COVID-19 pandemic creating serious operational, financial, and supply chain difficulties, cybersecurity concerns didn’t go away during this time. Let’s consider some of the additional stresses that IT security needs can, will, and have placed on healthcare providers.
The amount that healthcare practices invest in their cybersecurity services has been projected to exceed $65 billion in the span of time from 2017 to this year—but despite this, the industry isn’t improving. In fact, healthcare providers have had to turn away patients for these precise reasons… but the question remains: why?
There Are a Few Reasons that Healthcare Providers Have Had Problems As of Late
IoT Security Issues
Anyone who has been to a hospital in the past decade or so has likely noticed how connected many of these facilities have become. A nurse’s clipboard has been replaced by a laptop that they wheel around to input all information and logs into, while diagnostic equipment itself is now largely computerized.
This means that many of a healthcare provider’s tools can now be classified as Internet of Things devices, and as such, are prone to security inconsistencies and vulnerabilities as a result. Many IoT devices are notorious for iffy-to-non-existent security as it is.
While ransomware can be, and is, an issue in every industry, the healthcare industry is particularly susceptible to its impacts for obvious, life-or-death reasons. Ransomware has been responsible for many organizations actually closing their doors, unable to sustain the damages. This is largely due to the reliance that their organizations have on the data that they need to treat their patients and manage the business—without the support required to properly protect this data.
Unfortunately, the employees in a healthcare organization are not infallible, which does sometimes lead to insider threats to data. In fact, some professionals have said that insider threats are the biggest challenge for hospitals and such right now.
New Threats May Be On the Horizon
Of course, cybercrime of all kinds constantly advances, and that which targets the healthcare industry is no exception. In healthcare, these threats can be downright frightening.
For example, a research team in Israel managed to develop a proof-of-concept computer virus that could artificially paste tumors into CT and MRI scans so that high-profile patients could be misdiagnosed by their physicians.
With ingenuity like that, it is terrifying to consider what cybercriminals may do moving forward.
Regardless of your industry or the size of your business, cybercrime isn’t something to be taken lightly. Symmetric IT Group is here to help prepare for it. Give us a call at (813) 749-0895 to learn more about the solutions we have to offer and check out our Healthcare IT Services page.