Advanced IoT devices are evolving to meet the growing demands of the healthcare sector. But there needs to be cybersecurity education within this sector. Therefore, cyber threats in the healthcare industry are increasing dramatically due to the extensive sector digitalization. Since that sector stores extensive amounts of personal data, hackers are interested in stealing it to cause financial or reputational harm.
According to Statista, in 2021, 45% of healthcare organizations reported that they had experienced phishing attacks in the last twelve months. This poses financial risks and the health of the patient is greatly compromised as their medical records are not accessible after the cyber-attacks. Therefore, it is significant to take safety measures and train the healthcare staff to prevent hacks.
Why Healthcare Industry Is a Prime Target?
The healthcare industry is a prime target due to the following reasons:
The major reason that the healthcare industry has become a prime target is that it holds sensitive data. The data such as the patient’s credit card number, social security number, personal information, and much more. This data is worth of million dollars and can be used for several malicious purposes.
Unsecure Medical Devices
Hospitals use an extensive network of devices to manage massive amounts of data. For example, the advanced MRI machines are connected to several workstations so the staff can operate and work with the MRI pictures of the patients. Such devices can easily become entry points for hackers. They can easily spread malware and access the information they want. Moreover, the patient’s information is stored electronically, so it can be easily accessed by simply entering the patient’s name.
However, most hospitals are not aware of the cyber security measures they should take, and their negligence results in cyber-attacks. The records should be stored on cloud storage, and only a limited number of people should access them. Also, a secure internet connection should be used to ensure that hackers cannot penetrate your network to spread malware. Choosing the right type of internet connection and ISP is one of healthcare’s most fundamental decisions. As the ISP can keep tabs on the activity or neglect the network security. We only recommend using a fiber optic network as this technology does not emit signals so hackers cannot easily tap into the network. MetroNet not only provides this technology but also offers a complete Security Suite to protect the devices against ransomware, malware, spyware, and so on. Contact its customer support team for further inquiries.
The Use of Outdated Technology
Firstly, not every hospital can adopt an advanced security system, or they are not aware of the latest software. So, they will continue using the obsolete ones that might contain loopholes. Secondly, training the staff is another hassle because most healthcare workers perform their duties for longer hours. Hence, they cannot take time out for training sessions. These challenges make it easier for hackers to attack vulnerable devices.
Types of Threats for the Healthcare Industry
Different types of healthcare threats are listed below.
Malware and Ransomware
Hackers can spread malware to stop the system from functioning so they can steal confidential data. However, if they choose to attack the system with ransomware, they can demand a hefty sum of money to restore the data and system. But, it should be noted that the hacker doesn’t restore the data even after the ransom is paid.
Cloud Storage Threats
Cloud storage has many advantages as the files are no longer in your devices but get saved on a remote server. However, it is crucial to properly encrypt the files to prevent hackers from gaining access. As hackers have developed advanced technology to access cloud data. This not only results in data breaches but can also configure cloud storage.
Hackers send many bogus emails that look credible because they seem to be sent from authentic sources. This way the healthcare staff is tricked into downloading viruses in the system which cripples the network in seconds. They are quite effective in the healthcare industry because it can be challenging to differentiate whether patients or hackers send emails.
All in All…
The use of advanced technology has not only made our lives easier but has also posed several risks. Thus, cybersecurity is its critical aspect as it holds valuable insights and patients’ personal information. Ensuring that patients’ information remains secure should be the top priority of healthcare providers. Otherwise, the safety and security of the patients can be jeopardized.