OnPage incident management

Cybersecurity in Healthcare 2019

Cybersecurity in Healthcare 2019We all know the phrase, “New year, new me.” However, for hackers, this mantra has long been forgotten. Regardless of the year, malicious parties will continue to find innovative and new ways to target the healthcare industry.

That’s why in 2019, healthcare facilities should be aware of the cybersecurity threats plaguing the industry, with criminals in search of lucrative data and information. Below, we discuss four cybersecurity trends that organizations should be mindful of in the new year.

Increased Attacks on Healthcare

According to Health Data Management, hackers will leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) as a way to attack hospitals. The report also states that the number of IoT-based attacks are predicted to increase to 300,000 in 2019, contributing to 30 percent of cybersecurity incidents in the new year. This marks a 500 percent increase of such attacks from 2017.

Awareness of Ransomware

Malicious parties will also leverage the use of SamSam ransomware in 2019 for their targeted attacks. As stated by Healthcare IT News, 24 percent of SamSam attacks targeted healthcare in 2018 and are expected to increase. Further, the report states that SamSam attackers stole more than $6 million from victims last year, demonstrating the success of such an attack.

So, what makes this attack so effective? SamSam attacks can quickly spread through a user’s computer, affecting web-based apps. Additionally, these attacks can be deployed without the use of email addresses.

Consequently, healthcare organizations are susceptible to this attack, as many don’t monitor various login attempts, aren’t mindful of their online activities or fail to create strong passwords. That’s why it’s important for organizations to restrict access, limit credentials and introduce multi-factor verifications.

Increased Use of Work Properties for Personal Use

Unfortunately for healthcare organizations, cybersecurity intrusions can also be attributed to their own care teams. We live in a social world, and many people use their work email for personal use. This, of course, also includes using the internet for leisure activity.

These dangers also apply to recreational mobile use. According to one 2018 study, mobile phishing attacks continue to increase annually at a whopping rate of 85 percent. This is commonly due to mobile users, who visit or use unsecured apps and websites.

Though it might not seem like a big deal for some, this carelessness allows hackers to easily breach and steal lucrative information, including patient records or other medical files. As we begin the new year, healthcare facilities should expect this trend to continue and endure through 2019.

Policy Clarification

Recognizing these trends, experts recommend that healthcare organizations clarify their policies, including but not limited to those covering (1) risk assessments, (2) incident responses, (3) external supports, (4) business associates, (5) third-party assessments and (6) certifications. Essentially, this allows for a much-needed overhaul, explaining what organizations expect from their care teams and personnel.

Defend Against Attackers with OnPage

Fortunately for healthcare organizations, OnPage can help prevent cybersecurity threats. OnPage is a secure, HIPAA-compliant clinical communications and pager replacement platform. With OnPage, organizations can benefit from increased PHI security through two-way SSL encrypted communication, restricting access to critical medical records or messages. For healthcare pros, this also means that OnPage messages can be remotely wiped from devices, for heightened security.

As we begin a new year, it’s important that healthcare organizations improve their security and HIPAA compliance. By adopting OnPage’s pager solution, organizations can achieve this desired level of protection and defend against malicious parties, who will continue to target healthcare facilities in 2019.

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