Online security

Reasons why the healthcare sector is the biggest target of cyberattacks

Recent times have shown the increasing implementation of technology in many industries and sectors. The healthcare industry has graciously embraced this advent of technological advancement. The adoption of advanced technologies, including AI, aims to improve treatment and patient care through better diagnosis. But has the sector only benefited from this technological progress? NOPE!

Just as coins have two sides, technological progress, regardless of sector or industry, also has the repercussions of its implementation. In the health sector, it is the vulnerability of health data.

Every day there is an increased risk to health data security due to the revolutionary implementation of digitization in the healthcare industry. According to recent statistics, in 2021, an average of 1.95 health data breaches of 500 or more records were reported daily.

Why is the healthcare sector the main target of cyberattacks?

The statistics above clearly show that healthcare data is under constant threat. But what is it about health care information that is so appealing? Let’s find out.

Digitization of health information

Recently, we have moved from collecting physical data to digital records to keep them secure, accurate, up-to-date and easily shareable and make them imperishable. That’s the silver lining, and we’ve benefited immensely from it until we hit data breaches.

In terms of security, we have created a big trap by making data easily accessible to hackers. This is where it all started, and the added reason helps make the healthcare industry the biggest target for hackers.

High value of patient information on the black market

The most valuable thing is the most stolen!

In this age of digitization, data is most valuable. Every hospital, big or small, has the hidden treasure of patient data. The financial incentives for hackers to sell this information on the black market are sometimes unimaginable. The reason for this incentive is that the information includes not only the patient’s medical history, but also their bank and credit card details, social security numbers, and more. This is the main reason that led hackers to target the healthcare sector.

Legacy technology is to blame

This nation’s critical infrastructure is not even technologically up-to-date to protect against these advanced entities. Although medical technology has been advanced, the healthcare industry has struggled to keep pace. This evidence can be found in legacy systems used by facilities.

It’s when the Health app development company come play. These companies provide them with software and systems with advanced security features.

Having a secure system is not the end of the story; as long as the system is in use, it would require updates to remain secure despite technological advances. In this way, the healthcare infrastructure can take a step closer to data security.

Medical devices are very prone to attack

Why? Because they are the easiest entry points for the hacker to enter the system. There are a large number of medical devices used for various purposes like ECG monitors, defibrillators, x-ray machines, etc. Unlike computers, their medical devices are not facilitated by advanced security settings. This makes them the entry points for hackers to target the login server from where they can access the confidential data they seek.

Moreover, the hacker, once entering the system, can even cause more havoc by shutting down these medical devices or worse, taking control of them. The consequences of which would be interrupted treatments which can often be life-threatening.

Unprepared health personnel

The nation’s critical infrastructure soldiers are the healthcare personnel. Time, budget, and resource constraints are the barriers to familiarizing staff with best practices in cybersecurity and risk mitigation. The military can only protect territory when they are aware of the existence of potential threats.

Raise staff awareness of What is cloud security, identifying risks and best practices to eliminate data breach risks. Healthcare institutions can organize various training sessions for their staff to make them aware of the repercussions of the data breach.

Institutions should ask their healthcare application development company to add additional layers of security. It can be further enhanced with cybersecurity solutions such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) and single sign-on (SSO).

In a word, the health sector is in danger. It is high time to allocate a special budget to invest in cybersecurity solutions. This way, your business can protect patient data from cybercriminals. Each company with this implementation can strengthen the cybersecurity of your country’s healthcare infrastructure as a whole.