Cyber attacks affect the finances of every healthcare institution like no other. This development unmasks a truth that can’t be hidden by the healthcare industry—it has become a prime target of cyber attacks. The healthcare industry is facing a host of cyber security issues, which has financial and reputational impact for hospitals and other healthcare institutions.
One of the reasons why the healthcare industry is prone to cyber attacks is the limited budget allocated by healthcare institutions to cyber security investment. Despite the number of breaches, healthcare has been behind other sectors in taking security measures. Four to seven percent of a health system’s IT budget is in cyber security, compared to about 15% for other sectors such as the financial industry. Also, the focus of healthcare has always been patient care. The population health explosion also involves the sharing of information.
Although cyber attacks remain the leading cause of data breaches in the health care industry, there are still many security issues that were caused by negligent employees. An employee, for example, may open an email attachment that contains malware and compromise confidential information stored in a computer.
Healthcare organizations can minimize the risks of cyber attacks if they have staff who are very much aware that carelessness can put their companies at the mercy of cyber criminals. Healthcare organizations are thus encouraged to educate their staff and train them in handling confidential information, particularly patient data. Employees should also be periodically tested for their level of security knowledge and trained in handling email safely and undertaking security best practices. Some healthcare institutions even work with an external security agency to develop the ability of their personnel to identify phishing emails and other forms of cyber attacks.
The number one way to cut costs is to prevent a breach. Once one has happened, healthcare organizations must be able to identify it as soon as possible and then be able to respond to it. The first thing that’s needed for systems large and small is a risk assessment.
ProAction Insurance provides complimentary risk assessments to our clients to address their cyber risk factors. Organizations, both large and small, need to proactive in order to protect against growing cyber threats. Resources like our Cyber Security Planning Guide and Cyber Risk Exposure Assessments ensure that regardless of how you conduct your business, you are doing the due diligence necessary to prepare for your organization’s unique cyber exposures. Organizations, both large and small, need to be proactive in order to protect against growing cyber threats. Resources like our Cyber Risk Exposure Scorecard and Cyber Security Planning Guide ensure that, regardless of how you conduct your business, you are doing the due diligence necessary to prepare for your organization’s unique cyber exposures.
Healthcare organizations can also purchase cyber insurance, which varies in cost and coverage. Some obtain it for purposes of class action lawsuits. Contact us today learn more about this coverage and schedule a risk assessment.