The reality is that cyber-crimes involving ransomware are on the rise. In fact, the Ponemon Institute estimates that data breaches cost the healthcare industry $6.2 billion annually. So, how can you protect healthcare information from being exposed to these costly, malicious cyber-attacks?
Healthcare Information and Ransomware
According to the Ponemon Institute’s annual study on the state of security and privacy in health care, nearly 90 percent of the healthcare organizations represented in its study had experienced a data breach in the past 2 years, and criminal attacks were the leading cause behind those breaches. “In 2016, ransomware, malware, and denial-of-service (DOS) attacks were the top cyber threats facing healthcare organizations.” This presents a serious security risk and greatly increases the healthcare industry’s liability to legal proceedings.
Follow These Simple Security Protocols
Organizations in the healthcare industry can (and should) take every necessary precaution to protect themselves and the privacy of their patients healthcare information. For example, Healthcare IT News recommends the following protective actions:
- Always, always, always backup your data to a secure, offsite location!
- Maintain complete backup logs to allow you to resume business operations quickly after a ransomware attack.
- Be prepared and have a detailed emergency response plan should an attack occur.
- Regularly test your plans and review your backup files consistently to ensure data is up to date.
- Implement an ongoing training program to educate employees on prevention and cybersecurity best practices.
- Work with a team of internal and external security experts to maintain a strong security posture.
The best defense is a good offense. Healthcare industry organizations need to go above and beyond HIPAA compliance requirements to help protect against claims of negligence should they arise. Hiring a reputable, experienced, professional cybersecurity firm demonstrates that extra steps were taken to ensure the integrity of an organization’s healthcare information. This is one of the best offensive measures that can be taken.
The Bottom Line
Any organization in the healthcare industry should (at the very least) request one free cybersecurity consultation to identify unknown areas of risk. There are only two potential outcomes in requesting a consultation: (1) there will be opportunity to improve your data security plan, or (2) there won’t be. When an organization has everything to win or lose based on the security of its healthcare information, it’s not what you already know that matters. Contact Security Pursuit today for your free consultation. Our cybersecurity experts help with user education, penetration testing, incident response, full-time network security monitoring, and more to help your healthcare organization protect your data and your patients.