The healthcare industry has been digitally transforming over the past few years, especially due to the global pandemic. With this increase in technology comes an increase in risk and greater difficulty protecting patient privacy. Healthcare providers already have many crucial components to manage such as patient privacy and care, as well as the numerous compliances and regulations. Now that cyber-attacks are on the rise, healthcare providers are also working to keep their data and systems secure, but cybercriminals are taking advantage of this busy time.

Cybersecurity is a bit different and more complicated when it comes to healthcare and medical data. There are more digital systems than we typically realize. Patients fill their prescriptions and schedule appointments online. Not to mention heating, ventilation, air conditioning, infusion pumps, and many other systems that can be compromised by cybercriminals. The impact of a ransomware attack on healthcare data will be a much larger than most other industries because the data is extremely sensitive, and lives depend on it.  

According to Deloitte experts, the primary concerns for the healthcare industry are phishing, man-in-the-middle attacks, attacks on network vulnerabilities, and ransomware. To combat these types of attacks, clinics need to incorporate employee cybersecurity training, so that employees are educated on digital hygiene and know how to spot a threat. Clinics should also focus on data usage control, by monitoring, blocking, and logging any malicious activity, as well as implementing strict access rights (based on least privilege). Additionally, with mobile phones, apps, and other devices being more commonly used by administrative personnel, it is crucial to monitor any remote devices and disable any nonessential accounts. Businesses in any industry should be incorporating MFA, regular backups, and regularly updating software.  

The healthcare industry is growing rapidly, and so are cyber threats. If clinics can execute these security measures and keep up with them, they will be in a much better place to withstand any threat that arises and keep their data and patients secure.    

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