Why Healthcare is a Major Target for Cyber Criminals

Keeping Cyber Criminals Out of Your Healthcare Data

The healthcare industry has a long ways to go in order to move from the crosshairs of cybercriminals around the world. Advancements and upgrades in processes and technology are difficult to implement without assistance. There are plenty of regulations, controls and costs involved with these shifts, all of which must be performed without any downtime. As a result, more and more providers and hospitals have decided it is not worth the extra cost to increase security, thus leaving a huge risk gap. The following areas are of highest concerns and simple solutions that can help drive the security risk down in the healthcare sector.

High Physical Security Risk

Cybercriminals will take any avenue that is available to them to exploit vulnerabilities for a financial gain. One of the easiest ways into the healthcare system today is through the outdated devices used for patient care. Things like heart monitors, nurse kiosk stations, and even devices as sensitive as pacemakers often lack key security components to protect the end user. Default nursing kiosk stations, shared logins, running Windows XP, and outdated pacemakers running open Bluetooth, are just a few common vulnerabilities. As an industry, there needs to be a bigger push towards strengthening the stance of the everyday use of these devices.

Overwhelming Amount of Data Exposure

Within a hospital, there are many points of data passed around until it finally reaches a secure destination in a database (if that database is even secured at all). Since the physical nature of these buildings is known for having a lot of visitors and several moving parts, data leakage tends to happen right underneath the nose of the hospital. Ensuring that simple security controls are in a place like disabling external USB access to kiosk stations, badge restrictions to certain areas and just general external visitor control is key to the integrity of security at any healthcare location.

Incomplete File Storage

Lastly, the storage of client sensitive information needs to be of the utmost importance to anyone in charge of protecting data from cybercriminals. Database encryption, whether it be the entire database or per data type, needs to be properly reviewed and approved as a company standard. Too many times we have seen healthcare providers breached, thus leaking information about a person that cannot be easily changed (health condition, diseases, etc.). When healthcare providers fail to safeguard their files, their entire team and all of the visiting patients are put at risk. Hospitals and doctors’ offices have an overwhelming amount of files on hand. Although organization and file management may feel like a daunting feat, it is especially essential to the healthcare industry. Proper file storage helps offices ensure who has access, and assists in fast and organized file retrieval for those equipped to view it.

At the end of the day, the two main points to focus on in the healthcare industry are the external facing threats (physical device security, visitors, etc.) and protecting internal storage of sensitive data (database files, physical documents, etc.). These are the bare minimum requirements to prolong the chance of a breach, continuous monitoring and improvements must be made as they become available to keep all systems updated, as this is the only sure way to stay proactive against cybercriminals.

Although healthcare is a major target for cybercriminals, there are still effective ways to combat this threat. The experts at IND Corporation have helped countless healthcare professionals secure their wealth of data through our strategic Cloud File Storage Solution. For more information on our solutions and strategies, reach out to one of our team members.