Cyberattacks and the healthcare sector

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Many organizations are made vulnerable to cyberattacks by hackers by using loopholes in the system. The healthcare sector is also one among them. Until recently this sector wasn’t aware of the risks it can get from cyberattacks and the preventive mechanisms.

    The following outlines the types of security threats in this sector. Now cybersecurity is increasingly used here also to prevent these.

  • Patient information is most-wanted:

A lot of patient information is stored in hospitals. Hackers are prying for this type of information. Patient data is worth a lot of money and these hackers make money by selling them. It is highly sensitive and is the duty on the part of the healthcare provider to protect patient details from hackers. HIPAA Compliance help can be useful to protect personal data. There may be financial penalties that are levied as per GDPR and it may do serious harm to the financial position of the hospital.

  • Medical devices:

There are a lot of medical devices that are used in a hospital. With advancements in science, many of them are robotic devices and also operate with the help of the internet. There are various functions embedded in them. These devices are the soft targets of hackers. They contain no patient data in themselves but they can be hacked to access the server to which they are connected. Security systems cannot be implemented on these devices but it must be done on the server and network. Otherwise, there may arise a situation where the hackers can take control over the life-saving equipment and prevent their effective functioning leading to colossal damage.

  • Lack of education to staff on the risks:

Healthcare staff is not educated on the risks arising in cyberspace. This was not essential until recently. But now, there has been increased stress on the importance of making staff aware of these aspects. They should know that patient information is very sensitive and should not be divulged. Security service providers should make available a secure server network where they can upload patient data with confidence.

  • Remote access of data by staff:

In the healthcare industry, different units work together and they access information remotely available on the server. All information is not available right on their PC. So any one insecure connection can make the entire network vulnerable and cause total damage when there is any hacking attack. To eliminate this danger it is essential to identify the risk networks and also educate the healthcare professional who uses the network on cyber safety procedures. By doing this any unusual activity on the server is easily cracked down before it can gain access to the network.

  • The number of devices used:

There are thousands of medical devices that the healthcare industry deals with. All these devices are connected to each other to a network. Due to the huge number, taking proper care has not been possible. When safety procedures are not implemented, it becomes easier for hackers. Just if one device is hacked it can damage the functioning of the connected medical devices.