Why cybersecurity is important for health institutions

January 12, 2024

Tags: Technologies




After seeing the news of cyber-attacks on large companies daily, is there any doubt about the importance of cybersecurity in a software product? Companies must think about safeguarding the data of their clients and users, this of course applies to health institutes.


Hospitals and clinics handle millions of data in which there is confidential information about their patients, as well as the results of their studies and investigations, so protecting them from malicious attacks and a possible information leak is very important.





Cybersecurity in health institutions


Healthcare institutions are an easy target for hackers and hackers, who are constantly looking for vulnerabilities in their data systems and websites to infiltrate and obtain confidential data, which can cause significant damage to the company.


The American Hospital Association has an article focused on this topic, explaining why health institutions tend to receive more attacks of this type than other types of companies.


“Healthcare organizations are particularly vulnerable and targeted by cyberattacks because they hold a lot of information of high monetary and intelligence value to cyberthieves and state actors. Specific data includes patients' protected health information (PHI), financial information such as credit card and bank account numbers, personally identifiable information (PII) such as Social Security numbers, and intellectual property related to research and innovation.” They explain.




The institution, the leading medical voice in the United States, continues to reveal “stolen medical records can sell for up to 10 times or more than stolen credit card numbers on the dark web. Unfortunately, the bad news doesn't end there for healthcare organizations: the cost of remedying a healthcare breach is nearly three times higher than other industries, with an average of $408 per stolen healthcare record versus $148 per stolen healthcare record. stolen non-medical record.”


There are examples of cyber-attacks on hospitals that have been of catastrophic level, one of them is shared by the AHA: “Patient outcomes were threatened when Britain's National Health Service was affected as part of the ransomware attack “WannaCry” of May 2017 against computer systems in 150 countries, causing ambulances to be diverted and surgeries to be cancelled. Since then, there have been other cases of ambulance diversion orders issued due to ransomware, including here in the US. However, with proper planning and investment, it is possible to mitigate this risk.”




Importance of cybersecurity in health institutions


The importance of robust cybersecurity measures in healthcare institutions cannot be understated as they play a critical role in safeguarding patient privacy, maintaining the integrity of medical data, and ensuring the continued delivery of high-quality healthcare services. 


Healthcare institutions manage vast repositories of sensitive patient data, including medical records, treatment plans, and personal information. Cybersecurity safeguards are essential to protect this large amount of data from unauthorized access, theft or malicious manipulation. Patient data breaches can not only compromise individual privacy, but can also lead to identity theft, financial fraud, and reputational damage to both patients and healthcare providers.


The healthcare sector is increasingly the target of cybercriminals seeking to exploit medical information for financial gain. Medical identity theft involves the unauthorized use of a person's personal information to obtain medical services, prescriptions, or insurance benefits. It is vital to adopt robust cybersecurity measures to prevent these types of incidents and maintain the integrity of patient medical records.




Even this technological solution is an integral part of patient safety. In healthcare, digital systems are interconnected to facilitate communication and share critical information. Any compromise in the integrity of these systems can lead to miscommunications, treatment errors, or even tampering with medical devices. Strong cybersecurity measures help ensure the accuracy and reliability of digital health systems, directly contributing to patient safety.


At Rootstack we work with this solution and take it seriously. Our comprehensive approach ranges from the proactive identification of vulnerabilities to the implementation of next-generation solutions, allowing organizations to operate in a digital environment with confidence and peace of mind.


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