Caren Shiozaki | October 26, 2020
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and the theme this week is:
Protecting Internet Connected Devices in Healthcare
The healthcare industry is increasingly relying upon internet-connected devices and solutions to improve patient care, organizational efficiency, speed of crisis response, and much more. The emergence of telemedicine, digital health records, internet-connected medical devices, patient wellness apps, and an increasing amount of third parties entering the health supply chain has created many benefits, but has also exposed the industry to vulnerabilities that cyber criminals regularly attempt to exploit.
The third week of Cybersecurity Awareness Month delves into the industry (hospitals, care facilities) and consumer (telemedicine patients, users of wearables) implications of internet-connected device use and what steps both can take own their part and #BeCyberSmart.
As if stress levels in the healthcare industry weren’t high enough due to the COVID-19 pandemic, risks to its already fragile cybersecurity infrastructure are at an all-time high.
The healthcare sector is suffering significant blows when it comes to cybersecurity incidents, big hacks and third-party vendor breaches. Healthcare data is the most valuable data and cybercriminals will take advantage of any vulnerabilities they can find in internet-connected apps and devices.
Incidents with healthcare organizations are not merely expensive inconveniences. The disruptions put people’s health, safety and lives at risk. Think about it – these are just a few of the issues that could result:
- Having to redirect emergency patients to other hospitals.
- Medical tests and surgical procedures being cancelled.
- 911 services interrupted.
- Medical staff can’t get to work because badge scanners and building access systems are disabled.
- Medical records are inaccessible and in some cases, permanently lost.
Personal healthcare data is considered a high value asset by cybercriminals. Breaches of data sources holding that information are increasing. A few recent examples:
Here’s an informative read on best practices for securing IoT devices in general:
And finally, check out this video that talks about securing your own personal health data.