Hospitals Face Cyber Security Threats: Is Your Facility Prepared?

Hospitals Face Cyber Security Threats: Is Your Facility Prepared?

Hospitals Face Cyber Security Threats: Is Your Healthcare Facility Prepared

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities rely on technological advancements to streamline operations and improve patient care in the digital age. However, while technology can improve convenience and efficiency in a variety of ways, there are some risks associated with adopting these innovations. As businesses across all industries are discovering, it is critical to make cybersecurity a continuous priority. Otherwise, your company will be vulnerable to a variety of serious threats. Hospitals and other medical facilities, for example, will need to take precautions against the following high-tech threats.

Electronic Medical Records

For many years, electronic health records (or EHRs) have been used to replace traditional paper documents and files. Although these digital versions make it much easier for health providers and insurers to access and share critical information, as well as ensure that patient data is updated on a regular basis, EHRs are not impenetrable. Because these records contain so much sensitive information, they are a prime target for malicious behaviour. Providers must follow HIPAA rules to ensure compliance, but because criminals are constantly devising new ways to access this information, providers must remain vigilant to prevent this data from falling into the wrong hands.

IoT-Enabled Devices

According to recent University of Michigan Health Systems research, 86 percent of all patients admitted to hospital beds require infusion pumps. And, in the digital age, medical equipment has certainly evolved significantly. Smart pumps (such as the Alaris pumps) that can prevent medication errors and access large drug libraries are becoming more common. Having said that, not all infusion pump manufacturers are created equal. Although Alaris pumps and other brands are highly regarded, there have been reports of certain smart pumps being hacked (particularly outside the United States). Because these medical devices are linked to facility networks, they can theoretically be accessed via those networks as well. In the end, this leaves IoT medical devices vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Staff members must constantly update their devices and create plans of action to ensure compliance and network security in order to get the most out of their Alaris pumps and other high-tech devices.

Attempts at Phishing

You are vulnerable to phishing attempts regardless of your industry or the size of your organisation. And, given that hospitals and other medical facilities conduct the majority of their communications via computer, it stands to reason that these facilities would be vulnerable to cybercrime. It only takes one trusting employee to click on an official-looking link in an email to bring your entire network down and steal private information. Certainly, your facility will want to invest in an IT team capable of handling any incident and ensuring that your security system is up to date. However, employees will need to be trained to recognise these types of phishing schemes and take the appropriate action if and when they appear.

Your medical facility or hospital may be a prime target for cybercriminals due to the large amount of sensitive data stored and used. Understanding the risks associated with your daily operations can enable your organisation to take critical preventative measures to avert an attack before it occurs – all while providing patients with the best technology available on the market today.

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