Healthcare Data Breaches on the Rise: What You Need to Know

October 31, 2018   //   Security, ,

How safe is your healthcare data? According to The Journal of the American Medical Association, annual health data breaches increased 70% over seven years with 75% of breaches being classified as a “Hacking or IT Incident.”

As new technology continues to drive greater productivity, collaboration, and preparation for the future of patient care and workplace productivity, it’s critical that we focus on the cyber threats that come with rapid innovation.

Why is it so hard to keep health data safe?

The healthcare industry is especially vulnerable to cybercrime due to a number of reasons, including:

  • Valuable data in EHRs
  • Healthcare’s lack of IT investment & end user training
  • Highly connected systems

Healthcare data is spread across payers, providers, and patients in various formats and sources. It could be clinical data from EHRs (Electronic Health Records), billing data, enrollment data, etc. These various systems are highly connected, making it possible for a hacker to easily gain access to the organization’s financial, administrative, and clinical information with a single breach; and with such a massive amount of data generated and stored every day, it could take months to discover a breach has occurred.

Why cybersecurity should always be top of mind in healthcare

The implications of HIPAA to patients are that their health data is treated more sensitively and can be accessed more quickly by healthcare providers. If data privacy and security isn’t addressed, the OCR (Office for Civil Rights) can issue fines for non-compliance. Preventable data breaches can result in fines up to$1.5 million by the OCR alone, while lawsuits can be filed by both attorney generals and victims of data breaches. When professionals can’t access data due to a breach, organizations lose money on efficiency that could be reinvested to provide better care. Finally, with lives on the line, cybercriminals demand more from healthcare organizations due to what’s at stake if their systems stay down.

Let’s face it: There’s a lot of uncertainty around today’s cyber threats and what organizations should be doing to keep their data safe. SWC’s managed security professionals will complement your internal IT team by establishing a holistic security program.

Don’t Be the Next Target!

Protect your health data from today’s most advanced attacks by leveraging SWC’s vast technical experience. SWC helps clients build a solid security foundation, protecting organizations with next-generation solutions. These solutions include tools for malware detection, firewalls, and network access control to prevent attacks & exploits, such as botnet & crypto-locker. Additionally, when 90% of cyber attacks are caused by human error or behavior, IT security should be paired with an ongoing user training program to protect employees, patients, and mitigate future risk.

What’s your team doing to stay ahead of rapidly evolving cyber threats? Do you know which threats affect your industry? Don’t panic, get your SCORE to help you make the right security decisions for your organization.

Need to keep health data secure? Leverage SWC’s vast technical expertise, certifications, and experience to protect your health data. Contact SWC to learn more about our security services.