We understand, the wellbeing of your patients are more important, the security of your data should be the least of your worries. However, given the highly valuable data that healthcare businesses are in possession of and the growing complexity of your IT networks, hackers have a wide range of potential attack vectors at their disposal.


The same cyber threats that other sectors face also affect the healthcare industry. In actuality, 1,426 attacks per week were made against healthcare organizations in 2022, according to Check Point Research (CPR). Healthcare has the greatest average cost per occurrence of any industry for a data breach. 


Convincing CEOs to strengthen cybersecurity measures is typically a simple task after firms experience a major breach. However, it can be challenging to convince stakeholders outside of the IT and IS departments to regard cybersecurity as a high priority for hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities that have evaded serious incidents. They might think that since patient data has so far been secure, the current tools and procedures must be effective. 



How to convince your company’s stakeholders to improve your cybersecurity?


Considering data security as an investment rather than an expense can help you in gaining the C-suite’s support. For example, once a medium-sized academic medical center’s new CIO persuaded senior executive leaders of the value of security, they spent close to $8 million on cybersecurity assessments, investments, and remediation, including the hiring of three additional full-time employees. He showed them the possible cost of a successful breach, which included not just fines and litigation but also harm to the company’s reputation with patients and the general public.


The health facility actually experienced a minor breach roughly six months into the new CIO’s position. The incident, which affected around 3,000 patients, was not the result of a hack but rather a mistake. The company received no fines since it could back up its remediation plan. 



The Alarming Reports


Healthcare claims made up only 17 percent of all cyber claims in 2017, but they were responsible for 28 percent of all breach costs, according to a report on cyber claims (PDF). This suggests that successful attacks on healthcare providers are more expensive to businesses than breaches in other industries. 


The research states that a healthcare data breach typically compromised 1.6 million records. 5.2 million records were exposed in breaches involving personally identifiable information, compared to 386,000 records in breaches involving protected health information. 


Even more figures apply to the entire industry. According to Trend Micro’s 2017 research on cybercrime in healthcare (PDF), cyberattacks against hospitals, clinics, and physicians cost the U.S. healthcare sector more than $6 billion annually, with a hospital incurring an average breach cost of $2.1 million. 


Because many medical devices use older technology that are more susceptible to attacks, healthcare institutions are frequently targeted. Even in 2017, a newspaper referred to medical gadgets as “the next security nightmare.”


The Trend Micro research looks closely at the elements influencing the frequency of assaults in the sector. It points out that a lack of protections protecting digital assets is caused by hospitals and other healthcare institutions frequently prioritizing operations and efficiency over cybersecurity. The authors claim that many firms lack the necessary staff to manage digital threats and adopt fundamental security measures like two-factor authentication and encryption.



The Cost of Cybersecurity 


When considering useful and successful cybersecurity solutions, cost is still an important factor. The cost of effective cybersecurity systems continues to be a challenge, even though it is often more cost-effective to avoid a breach than to respond to an effective attack. 


Because of advancing bedside medical devices, mobile tools for clinicians, and developing Internet of Things use cases, healthcare companies now collect, retain, and communicate more patient data annually than they did the year before. For hackers, whose attack strategies are constantly changing, more data means more potential success. 


A data breach might result in significant costs. Patients must be informed, and providers must notify the government of the breach, which could result in severe fines and harm to the company’s reputation. 


Costly cybersecurity initiatives are another issue. Every penny and minute spent on data protection must come from a department’s budget. Hospitals can maintain patient data security without busting their IT budgets by selecting and adopting solutions that are both efficient and effective.



An Ever Expanding Threat Landscape


When hackers look at the kind of private information that hospitals and other healthcare organizations collect and safeguard, they see money. 


Hospitals gather unchangeable information such as Social Security numbers, birth dates, current and previous residences, and next of kin. Due to its permanence, such compromised data can be used by criminals for years to steal the identities of victims and utilize them for financial advantage. As a result, a single stolen record may fetch close to $100. These conditions make hospitals a highly attractive target for hackers for obvious reasons.


According to a survey, 76% of healthcare companies had a “significant security incident” in the previous year, attacks that had a wide range of attack tactics and objectives. The majority of those cases (38%) were the result of scammers on the internet using techniques like spear phishing and phishing emails. According to the survey, negligent insiders—well-intentioned employees with trusted access who unintentionally start a data breach—accounted for 21% of instances. Healthcare firms are subject to sanctions for security breaches that don’t involve outside parties. Healthcare insiders seeking information about family members, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances without authority were the main cause of internal hospital breaches. 


We are aware of how challenging it is for businesses to stay ahead of constantly advancing technologies and cyberthreats. While trying to grow your business, it can be difficult to consider your cybersecurity needs. Here at Intelecis, we offer custom cybersecurity services. We will conduct a thorough assessment to find out your cybersecurity posture to tailor solutions that best fit your needs. Maintaining security and compliance may seem challenging, but we have developed affordable cybersecurity solutions that may satisfy the unique requirements of your business. 


You have daily frustrations and worries, your cybersecurity should not be one of them. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help your business.