The recent WannaCry ransomware virus caused a panic beyond the level typically seen following this kind of attack. Part of the reason was the massive scale of the virus, spreading across businesses in 150 countries. But beyond the scale, the major concern was over the potential for damage — particularly to hospital and other healthcare systems where the ransomware struck.
Sensitive data and tech resources were not the only potential casualty in these facilities. People’s lives were on the line as the software interfered with medical devices and jammed up hospital systems’ operations.
The stakes are high in healthcare cybersecurity, which is all the more troubling when one considers that healthcare is also among the top targets for cybercriminal activity. As the industry races to bring its technologies up to speed with present-day expectations, cybersecurity remains a significant hurdle because hackers are increasing the intensity of their efforts … while the industry is only becoming more relaxed.
Healthcare Cybersecurity Must Be a Bigger Priority
Amid healthcare’s escalating cybersecurity crisis, Research firm KPMG conducted a study to uncover attitudes among healthcare industry executives on their defense and preparedness.
The results are troubling.
Despite the rising number and severity of breach threats, companies are actually rolling back their investments. Per Healthcare IT News:
“Despite the rising threats, KPMG’s survey found that cybersecurity as a board agenda item has declined over the past two years (79 percent versus 87 percent in 2015). In addition, KPMG found a disconnect regarding cybersecurity investment in this volatile environment. A smaller majority of healthcare companies made investments in information protection in the prior twelve months (66 percent versus 88 percent in the 2015 survey).”
Overall, companies are viewing technologies — rather than processes and talented staff — as the key to good security. This opinion flies in the face of the most current cybersecurity best practices, which emphasize proactive threat intelligence, active monitoring, incident response and advanced research from highly skilled staff.
It’s possible that perceived complexity and cost of adequate solutions is hampering spending on healthcare cybersecurity. However, companies don’t need to break the bank to achieve the results they need.
Third-party solutions such as managed security services, penetration testing and risk assessment can be affordable ways for even smaller partnerships to keep the hackers out of their resources. And considering patients’ lives hang in the balance, that’s an investment worth making.
Contact Lunarline today to find out how we can help healthcare organizations such as yours with tailored cybersecurity solutions.