Written by: Heer Rangwani – Intern, Racepoint Global London
Healthcare is now a digitally driven business thanks to advances in mobile technology. Connected devices are helping to deliver care to patients in their own homes, improving efficiency in medical facilities and making preventative care more efficient. However, have we ever really considered if healthcare organisations are capable of keeping our personal data safe?
According to the 2018 Protected Health Information Data Breach Report (PHIDBR) from Verizon, 66 percent of healthcare security breaches were caused by internal and external actors abusing privileged access credentials to access databases. Furthermore, in addition to malware, ransomware, and phishing, there were multiple reported incidents of physical theft jeopardising critical data. In many cases, laptops are being stolen from medical professionals’ cars with the intention of compromising healthcare networks or stealing valuable data.
With this in mind, it is all the more worrying that a 2017 MediaPro report found 70 percent of employees lack cybersecurity awareness or preparedness. When an organisation is subject to a cyber-attack, it can often be traced back to human error. So, while policies and staff training won’t magically fix security issues, getting this right is absolutely vital. Educating and retraining workforce members on data privacy and security policy and procedures can significantly reduce the frequency of repeat offenders within the organisation.
With life expectancy growing and healthcare systems under increasing cost-pressures as a result, investing in mobile and connected devices is a must. Yet this does come with new risks that organisations absolutely have to mitigate to the best of their abilities. As is often the case, investing in staff is the place to start. Not every doctor, nurse and member of clerical staff can be a cybersecurity expert but a baseline should be established that will help them safeguard their patients’ digital wellbeing as well as physical.
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