Why Cyber Crime in Healthcare Is Spiking

Cyber crime affects all industries, but some are at higher risk than others. The healthcare industry in particular is heavily targeted because of the value of the information that those companies hold. Cyber criminals know that if they can just crack into the organization’s network, they’ll easily be able to find the kind of information they’re seeking.

Data breaches are a threat that all healthcare facilities must take seriously. With cyber crime being one of the fastest-growing crimes, and the increased focus on customer privacy, it’s not something that healthcare facilities can ignore, especially since they’re so vulnerable. There are several reasons for this vulnerability, as well as several strategies to combat it.

Why Are Healthcare Organizations Targeted?

Valuable Personal Information

A lot of companies have information about their customers. But healthcare companies? They have extremely valuable information, including financial information, personal medical histories, and often driver’s license information and social security numbers. There’s arguably no other industry in the world that has as much information about clients. It would be easy for a criminal to cause real harm if they had a customer’s personal data from their medical records.

Up-to-Date Records

While companies like to collect as much data as they can, the truth is that they don’t always do that much with it. The customer won’t always voluntarily give more information than absolutely necessary, and that information might end up outdated and buried deep in the company’s system. 

This is not the case with healthcare facilities. Their information is extensive and always up to date. It’s easily accessible too—it has to be for the hospital to run smoothly. That kind of information is exactly what cyber criminals want.

Underprepared Security

The fact of the matter is that most healthcare businesses are underprepared to defend themselves against cyber crime. In 2017, the WannaCry ransomware attack cost the UK National Health Service $100 million, and it could have been prevented.

More recently, the World Health Organization announced that they’ve experienced a five-fold increase in cyber attacks. These attacks are preventable if you take the necessary precautions and keep your systems secure.

How Can Healthcare Organizations Protect Themselves?

Update Software

Software manufacturers don’t release updates for the fun of it, or to inconvenience their users. They do so to make the software more secure. Keeping software updated is a key aspect of keeping networks secure so that cyber criminals can’t gain access to them. Don’t give them the opportunity to harm your business

Train Employees

Your staff works to push your business forward, but they may also make your facility more vulnerable. In order to stay digitally secure, it’s important that all members of staff are trained in the best practices of internet and data safety. This involves choosing strong passwords, recognizing fraudulent emails (phishing), and not clicking on any suspicious links, among other strategies.

Work with a Professional Company

A trusted IT partner can ensure that you have the latest and most secure systems in place. They can update your existing systems, or use custom technology production to build you the hardware and systems you need.

Cybersecurity is especially important while so many employees are working from their homes, which will be less secure than the main workplace. If there is a threat, a professional IT company will handle the issue straight away and continuously monitor the health of your network.

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