Most large healthcare systems have a pretty good handle on keeping their IT systems secure. However, smaller healthcare systems lack resources like talent and budget to enforce cybersecurity best practices. These small and mid-sized healthcare organizations tend to see patients who are already a part of our county’s medically and economically under-served areas. Any technology and cybersecurity vulnerabilities in a healthcare system can cause significant interruptions to operations and reduce patients’ quality of care. What are some of the greatest challenges in technology and cybersecurity that small healthcare systems are experiencing right now?
Little Training on Phishing
Phishing schemes aim to deceive recipients into revealing personal or sensitive information. These scams can also try to trick people into clicking links that will infect that person’s computer or network with malware. Hospital records and databases are full of patient identification, medical, and financial information, which cybercriminals are all too eager to try to steal. Further, phishing scams try to take advantage of personnel to click on their links. Internal human errors can be quite crippling to healthcare systems, so it’s essential that hospital staff recognize this type of cybersecurity threat and how to react.
Weak Access Management and Security
Healthcare organizations need to balance ease of access and interoperability with keeping the system secure and restricted to authorized users only. These users include physicians, administrative staff, insurance representatives, and patients. In addition, access to the system is not the same across the different users, which is another layer of complexity to the situation. Implementing measures like digital signatures and multi-factor authentication are some simple and low-cost steps to add security to healthcare systems, yet some small hospitals lag behind.
Data Loss Prevention Not In Place
Another area of cybersecurity where smaller hospital systems tend to fall behind is failing to have data loss prevention processes in place. In today’s hospital environment, there are many medical devices used in the course of patient care. Each connected device to the healthcare network acts as an endpoint into the system, which hackers can exploit if it’s not secured. Further, healthcare systems usually have access solutions in place that work to keep data stored in different parts of a network. In the event one section is compromised, there are ways to isolate the intrusion from affecting other connected parts of the network or system as a whole. Again, smaller healthcare systems don’t always have the resources to set up and manage these cybersecurity issues as carefully.
Healthcare IT Services and Solutions from Audley Consulting Group
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