The growing threat and frequency of data breaches are serious concerns shared by healthcare organizations across the industry. Pernicious cyberattacks and breaches have become the new normal, from the now infamous 2017 WannaCry ransomware attack to the 2019 American Medical Collection Agency data breach that exposed the personal health information (PHI) of nearly 12 million patients.
Halfway through 2019, the Protenus Breach Barometer calculated that hackers had already breached 32 million patient records, noting that 88% of those security incidents were caused by hacking. This staggering number was already double the amount of breached patient records in 2018 that totaled 15 million, and six months remained in the year. What’s more, a 2019 survey found that 83% of surveyed healthcare organizations saw an increase in cyberattacks over the past year, with 66% admitting those attacks have become more sophisticated.
Healthcare is one of the most targeted industries for cyberattacks—alongside manufacturing and technology according to the Global Threat Intelligence Center—because of the high value placed on PHI and the relative ease in hacking aging legacy equipment that wasn’t designed to withstand sophisticated strikes. For example, patient health data and sensitive billing information are worth between 10 to 40 times the value of a credit card number on the black market.
It’s not difficult to imagine the vast harm that can befall a targeted revenue cycle manager or healthcare organization—the ding in reputation, risk of noncompliance, financial fallout and potential threat to patient safety.
Still, there are concrete steps that healthcare organizations and hospitals should take to protect patients, employees and their bottom line. As interconnectivity increases through the number of linked medical devices and as patients and providers continue to share health information back-and-forth, the threat of network exposure grows. That’s why the need to create strategic, vigilant cybersecurity measures to protect organizations is crucial.
Here are some of the ways healthcare leaders and organizations across the industry are circumventing network breaches and threats posed by bad actors.
Eager to know more about the steps Parallon takes to keep your patients’ PHI protected? Contact one of our experts to learn more.