Healthcare Cybersecurity: The Top Threats You Need to Know

Cybersecurity | May 10, 2022

Even though computer systems and technology have opened up new possibilities, they have also left unaware healthcare practices vulnerable. Unless trained to deal with healthcare cybersecurity, you might not even be aware of the attacks you are prone to receive.

Just as an example of the potential devastation, look at this simple hack that occurred in 2021. It affected more than 670,000 patients, ten times the amount that could sink a smaller healthcare provider.

The only option is to improve healthcare cybersecurity. That all starts with understanding the threats and where they come from.

We’re going to look at the biggest cybersecurity threads that you need to know.

Networks and Healthcare Cybersecurity

IT services in healthcare exist to facilitate every step of the patient care process, something made impossible by an attack on the network. Distributed denial-of-service attacks or DDoS attacks are the common names for these styles of attack.

In a DDoS attack, the hacker enlists an army of compromised computers. They then send an orchestrated flood of data to the target network, crippling it with excess traffic.

Do you have any emails to send, prescriptions to fill online, or databases to access on the network? All of that will be impossible once your network is under the strain of a DDoS attack.

Loopholes and Vulnerabilities in Software

One of the trickiest cybersecurity threats to identify is a vulnerability in the software. Since healthcare services run many pieces of software on their IT systems, these issues could appear anywhere. What’s worse, they could appear unannounced.

Software developers will do their best to catch these issues before they cause too much damage, but even a few hours can be enough time to do damage.

IT services in healthcare do much to prevent this problem by keeping their pulse on current cybersecurity issues and news. Even though preventative action is most effective, an IT service will be well equipped to react quickly to new problems.

Online Data Storage Solutions

The cloud has become an increasingly popular storage solution for healthcare providers. It carries enormous risks, though. If your platform isn’t compliant with HIPAA and you don’t know anything about encryption, all of that data could be vulnerable.

Managed IT services in healthcare can help you to ensure that all of your patient information is as safe as it can be when on the cloud. This can be done either by offering advice on the best platform or by helping to implement safer procedures when dealing with data.

Protect Patient Information From Data Breaches

One of the age-old digital security threats in healthcare is the data breach. Personal information is like gold to hackers who perform a data breach, and you can see that reflected in the statistics regarding healthcare cybersecurity.

Healthcare IT services make this one of their top priorities due to the likelihood that an attack will take this shape. The reason these kinds of IT services in healthcare are so well-suited to dealing with data breaches is the monitoring they require.

It’s not as simple as shoring up any perceived weaknesses in a device through the use of specialist software. A watchful eye must focus on all of the devices and systems on a network. A data breach doesn’t always come from the outside, which is why there is so much diligence required.

HIPPA has a strict set of guidelines regarding data security, but a lot of organizations don’t have the resources to meet them. They should try, though, as the leaking of medical records and other information is devastating to healthcare services.

Ransomware, the Most Dangerous Type of Malware

Many of the cybersecurity threats on this list are issues in every workplace or industry that has any reliance on computers. This particular issue is no exception, and it’s also one of the most pervasive and damaging.

You may have heard the term ‘ransomware’ before but not have familiarity with what it means. Ransomware is a special type of malware, one that has the insidious ability to infect a system and encrypt all of the files.

That encryption process locks all of those files behind an impenetrable layer. The files may as well be gone until you pay the ransom. Even the scenario where you pay and the files unlock is a hopeful one.

In reality, you could pay a hefty ransom and still never see any of the files or devices unlocked. That means you’re going to be staring down the barrel of innumerable lost work hours and wasted money.

That’s not to mention the implications of losing valuable patient data to the malware. In the worst-case scenario, no amount of time or money will recreate or retrieve that data. It’s a devastating result for something that could be as simple as clicking on an innocent-seeming link.

Improving Healthcare Cybersecurity

The fact there are so many avenues of risk for the IT system of a healthcare provider means that cybersecurity can be a monumental task to tackle. Healthcare cybersecurity requires both a wealth of experience in IT and an intimate understanding of the needs of the industry.

EMPIST can provide both those things. If you want to eliminate digital security threads in healthcare, going with a managed IT service is the best way to do it.

If you want to get in touch to find out how EMPIST can help, it’s as easy as one click. You can contact EMPIST here, and start securing your systems and data as soon as you would like.