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Why a Cyber-healthy Network is Essential for Patient Safety?

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The healthcare industry increasingly (and heavily) relies on technology to deliver care and manage patients, employees, and supplier data – from diagnostic devices to online health records and connected care networks. With all the benefits technology brings to healthcare, it also increases IT complexity and potential points of vulnerability. Healthcare is a prime target for cyber-attacks.

According to the HIPAA Journal, data breaches have increased by 51.5% in the past month alone. These alarming statistics should prompt more healthcare organizations to prioritize cybersecurity.

Healthcare data breaches trending upward. (Source: Department of Health and Human Services)

Cyber Safety is Patient Safety

There are a few prominent examples of breaches that demonstrate the impact cybersecurity incidents can have in terms of highly sensitive patient healthcare data, in violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) policies for safeguarding patient confidentiality. These incidents caused significant financial losses (in the millions of dollars), can impact on reputation, disrupt business operations, and often create lasting repercussions for the affected individuals and healthcare organizations.

So why aren’t healthcare organizations prioritizing cybersecurity?

There are several reasons why cybersecurity is often overlooked in healthcare:

(Source: Fidelis Cybersecurity)
Scarce resources: Often, healthcare organizations don’t have the funding and staff to allocate for cybersecurity, so they prioritize patient care and operation expenditures.
  1. Lack of understanding: It is common for healthcare companies to underestimate the importance of cybersecurity, or the risks involved with cyberattacks. They may simply assume that their IT systems are secure or outsource their security operation to a third party requiring less resources.
  2. Data intricacy: Healthcare organizations deal with large amounts of sensitive patient data, spread across several locations and parties. Plus, systems are often a mix of legacy and modern, on-premises and cloud. The inherent complexity makes it challenging to identify and address potential vulnerabilities.
  3. Multiple disparate stakeholders: The Healthcare industry involves many different stakeholders, from medical providers in hospitals and clinics to insurance providers, pharmacies, and government agencies. PII is often shared among this disparate network, but it is nearly impossible to ensure all stakeholders have taken consistent and appropriate measures to protect the data.
  4. Compliance and regulations: While there are regulations in place to protect patient data (e.g., HIPAA in the United States), they are not designed to address the full scope of potential cybersecurity risks.

Partner with Cybersecurity Experts

Healthcare institutions must continue their digital transformations to electronic records and expand network access to patients through telemedicine, health records, patient portals, and other services. As they do, it’s important to build proactive cyber defense and cyber resilience into their IT environments.

Fidelis Security protects the world’s most sensitive data, assets, and critical business operations. Our Fidelis Elevate® and Fidelis Halo® platforms provide comprehensive cybersecurity for healthcare organizations worldwide. We protect our customer’s data, assets, and business operations by providing full visibility device-to-cloud via rich, dynamic mapping of the IT environment, multi-faceted context, and risk assessment. These features minimize attackable surface areas, automate exposure prevention, threat prevention, detection, and incident response, and provide the context, accuracy, speed, and portability security professionals need to find and neutralize adversaries earlier in the attack lifecycle.

In Summary

The healthcare industry has long been and will continue to be a prime target for cyber attackers. By partnering with cybersecurity experts like Fidelis Security, you can proactively detect, deceive, and neutralize threats inside your network, protecting your organization from potential damage. With our expertise and tools, your security teams can stay ahead of cyber threats and safeguard your valuable patient data.

Don’t wait until it’s too late – let us show you what threats are lurking on your network so we can help safeguard your data and IT assets.

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