Increasing cyber-attacks on healthcare organisations have led to the industry becoming a lucrative target for hackers worldwide. Healthcare data is attractive to hackers as it can be used for a variety of purposes, such as identity theft, insurance fraud, extortion, or even manipulation of markets. Unlike financial data where a person can change their bank account details, if health information is “stolen”, it becomes very difficult to get it back or make it disappear. 

Health IT in the last decade has focused on seamlessly connecting disparate systems to create an electronic health record (EHR) for patients. I believe the next decade will see a shift in focus in the health IT sector towards managing EHR data securely, with the cloud as the most popular storage platform for this data. For healthcare organisations moving sensitive data to the cloud, security and privacy control should be the highest priority.

Due to prolific media coverage of cyber-attacks, healthcare organisations are becoming a lot more engaged and committed to cybersecurity over the last few years. Precautions are being taken such as hiring professionals from other industries to advise and develop robust cybersecurity frameworks and incorporating security training for healthcare professionals.

Some of the most crucial steps healthcare organisations can take in improving data security and protection are to start with the basics:
  1. Know what’s on your network
  2. Apply incremental patches and the latest software updates
  3. Apply least privileged access to data assets
  4. Train your users to avoid, recognise and report attacks
  5. Engage a trusted partner to provide assurance

To learn more about these 5 ways to improve data security, read the original article on Becker’s Hospital Review here.