The healthcare industry still manages to be the most vulnerable to data theft and security breaches. According to a research last year, between November and December, India saw a 45% hike in cyberattack cases on healthcare organisations.
In the last quarter of 2020, numerous hospitals, COVID-19 research firms, and many pharma companies succumbed to ransomware attacks. Himanshu Dubey, director of Quick Heal Security Labs, stated, “The pandemic acted as a huge opportunity for cybercriminals to innovate their attack strategies further, and steal sensitive data for their personal gain.”
But ever wondered why is the healthcare industry falling prey to cyberattacks? Here are 5 reasons why healthcare is the prime target for cyber attacks.
1. Harbours a lot of valuable data
The healthcare industry stores data – from financial to health information – that is worth a lot of money. Given the nature of the data, private and sensitive, hackers find it worth negotiating and stealing. Moreover, most of the healthcare industry relies on the existence of technology. Filled with overlapping systems, onboard data, and connected devices, attackers find it appealing and an easy target to attack if not secured properly.
2. Medical devices are easy to attack
Medical devices and applications are the primary targets of cyberattacks since they are easy to breach. One main reason for this is that devices that are used to monitor heart rates or keep a track of oxygen levels are not designed to be secured from cyberattacks. They are there to monitor the patient. Hence, this makes it easy for a hacker to attack its server. Although these devices do not contain sensitive patient information, these attacks can give hackers access to delicate information.
3. Data needs to be accessible to the staff
The industry demands cooperation and collaboration for efficient work. Patient data needs to be shared through the staff members in case of emergencies. However, not everyone with access to that data is sitting on the desk. They might be working from other devices, and if the device is new, security is not ensured completely.
4. Technology is outdated
In India, the healthcare sector is compromised in terms of technology used. India lacks investment in the cybersecurity of sensitive data for patient records in hospitals and other pharma sectors compared to other vast industries. Not investing in cybersecurity can be seen as huge damage to the industry.
5. Staff isn’t educated in cybersecurity
When we talk about doctors and nurses, they have a lot on their plate to deal with. They are trained for saving a life and not in cybersecurity. Due to their heavy schedule, and budget restraints in some areas, it might be impossible to dive into cybersecurity.
The medical industry already deals with complexity in terms of its work nature. Being cyber secure is not the first thing that runs through their minds while dealing with patient records. Providing the best protection from cyberattacks is not theirs – but our job, and we take it seriously.
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