As the Field of Healthcare Grows, So Do Cyber Threats


With an aging population and advances in medical technology, it’s no wonder the field of healthcare cybersecurity, is growing rapidly. After all, we need doctors, nurses, and medical assistants to perform increasingly complex roles in patient health.

Advances in technology have increased lifespans, wiped out diseases, and increased the quality of life for many all over the world. However, these technologies are vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. Bad actors can steal private patient records, internal data, and even cause healthcare facilities to shut down during attacks.

The Department of Health and Human Services reported in July 2017 that healthcare providers have seen a 10% increase in cybersecurity attacks in the past two years.

They emphasize the need for healthcare organizations to train their teams on preventative measures that can stop potential threats or bring them to the attention of the internal cybersecurity team. In fact, many I.T. professionals who work in cybersecurity spend much of their time communicating with outside departments about how they should use company technology to keep data safe.

In 2016, it was reported that 94% of healthcare facilities had been at the receiving end of a cyber attack. They also detail an additional cyber threat that is directed towards medical devices, which can have a direct impact on patient safety. So not only do healthcare facilities and government agencies need to have top-notch security plans in place, but medical device manufacturers also need to consider potential threats as well.

What’s even more confounding is that the pace of technology seems to outpace the ability to create proper regulations and have systems in place to make sure healthcare providers and patients are protected.

So, what’s being done? The Food and Drug Administration is aiming to spearhead some cohesion across the industry landscape. In one instance, they held a workshop geared towards preventing cyber threats to medical devices.

Experts are also recommending more communication across different sectors of the healthcare industry.

With more information-sharing between manufacturers, healthcare providers, and government agencies, healthcare security professionals can work together to make sure they keep data secure when storing or passing it between facilities.

But as long as technology continues to advance, and the population continues to age, we can anticipate a need for skilled healthcare and cybersecurity professionals in the modern workforce.

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