Though cybersecurity attacks threaten all industries, the healthcare industry has become a major target of internet thieves.
From patients’ protected health information to financial information like credit card and bank account numbers, these enterprises possess a massive volume of information of high intelligence and monetary value—leaving them particularly vulnerable to cybercrime.
In fact, illegally obtained health records can sell up to 10 times more than stolen credit card numbers. But the bad news doesn’t stop there. For healthcare organizations, the cost to resolve a data breach is almost three times that of other industries—averaging $408 per stolen healthcare record versus $148 per stolen non-health record.
Entering into the new year, these attacks will be unceasing, so companies must place developing a clinical cybersecurity strategy to guard patient safety as a top priority.
How Cyberattacks Threatens Patient Privacy and Financial Resources
Back in 2020, cybercrime in the healthcare industry increased by 73%, resulting in 12 billion pieces of stolen private health information. Further reports show that phishing and ransomware attacks were responsible for the majority of healthcare data breaches—and these threats are still ongoing.
With an average of $9.23 million per incident, healthcare data breaches are the costliest of any industry.
On top of the risk of financial resources, cybercrime threatens patient privacy, as hackers typically aim to access PHI and other sensitive patient information. By failing to keep these records safe and secure, your organization could face significant penalties under HIPAA’s Privacy and Security Rules.
Additionally, losing access to private medical records and lifesaving medical devices via ransomware can put patient safety and care delivery in jeopardy. Not only does hackers’ access to this data enable them to steal the information, but it also allows them to intentionally or unintentionally alter the data, which could lead to serious impacts on patient health and outcomes.
With such large ramifications at risk, your company—no matter how large or small—must take steps to protect your private patient information and your financial resources.
Identifying and Monitoring the Burden of Compliance on Your Staff
In the cybersecurity industry, the phrase “You can’t protect what you can’t see” is often repeated. In short, it reveals that companies must be able to know, classify, and monitor their network to access and minimize risk.
In this digital age, there has been a significant increase in the number of devices connecting to healthcare systems remotely—often referred to as telemedicine. Industry protections are pointing towards telemedicine continuing into a hybrid model, which means that securing protected health information will be an even greater challenge.
To understand what risks are at play, companies must work diligently with their cybersecurity teams to discover and classify remote and local assets on the network. With a secure cybersecurity system, healthcare organizations can capture security data from all systems and connected devices, analyze trends, and obtain real-time overall security pictures—thus preventing the onslaught of cybercrime.
Taking Steps to Protect Your Organization
The best defense against cybercrime is a good offense—aka, creating a combative plan before a cybersecurity threat can occur. Healthcare organizations must ensure a clinical cybersecurity strategy is in place to reduce impact and ensure its ability to continue to deliver patient care.
Additionally, stakeholders should be aware of these response plans. One of the biggest mistakes a company can make is viewing cybersecurity as a purely technical issue falling only under the IT department. What those companies fail to realize is that cybersecurity is a strategic priority throughout all departments and those involved in patient safety, including executives in the leadership team, clinicians on the front line, and anyone working in between.
Combining cybersecurity and patient safety strategies will not only ensure the protection of patient privacy and safety but also ensure consistent delivery of quality care through disruption mitigation.
Using E-Pay Protection to Ensure Safe Payments
The right strategy begins with elevating payment protection processes since those are often the most vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Security standards for patient payments have evolved, and this transaction is a frequently underestimated source of confusion.
By implementing the BirchStreet Pay e-pay security solution, you can simplify and expedite the transaction process, while reducing margins for error and combatting data security and compliance risks. Plus, this solution gives your company comprehensive tools to obtain real-time visibility into spending and compliance for all locations and departments—reducing any risks of cybercrime thanks to modern security measures.