Integrated healthcare is an amazing asset for healthcare organisations operating in a digital age. It improves collaboration and communication amongst practitioners and gives patients greater control over their own health journey. However, cyber security and integrated health go hand in hand, and it is important that companies, at every stage on their Digital Transformation journey, incorporate appropriate risk reduction strategies.
Reports show that cyber threats are becoming more and more common and that healthcare is one of the biggest targets for cyber attacks. There is even news of computer viruses capable of adding tumours to CT and MRI scans to mislead doctors into misdiagnosing high profile patients. On top of that, a single cyber breach could affect thousands of private patient files, including personal details, addresses, bank information, and much more. The consequences of this kind of breach are significant, affecting not only brand loyalty, but also falling under GDPR and NDB regulations – and their associated fines. Despite these threats, many healthcare providers are not prepared to handle security threats.
Relying on Technology
Technology has enabled great steps forward in the healthcare industry. Integrated health is redefining how healthcare is delivered positively. But, with patient records, lab results, equipment, offices, and even elevators now connected through Digital Transformation – Integrated Healthcare providers are facing a frontier of security that has never been encountered before. All of these things are great for patient care and clinical support, but they are also making healthcare far more vulnerable than it has ever been. The WannaCry Attacks are a great example of how a single breach can affect organisations which are reliant on digital technology. The attacks themselves hijacked thousands of hospital computers and diagnostic equipment, forcing doctors to cancel almost 20,000 appointments and manually deliver lab results across hospitals. Beau Woods, a cyber security advocate with the Atlantic Council says “if systems are disrupted over the internet, by an adversary or an accident, that can have a profound impact on patient care,”.
Technology isn’t the Problem
When it comes to cyber security and Integrated Health, it is important to realise that technology isn’t the problem. It is how organisations prepare to encounter attacks that is. Cyber threats are not a matter of ‘if’ but rather of ‘when’, but with the right strategy – which includes response and recovery protocols, organisations can minimise their impact and continue operating with minor disruptions.
It is also important to realise that security isn’t an inconvenience. A good security strategy can help streamline operations, reducing IT and administration tasks while also ensuring that operations remain robust and protected. It all comes down to finding out what strategy is going to work best for an organisation. This can be done with a thorough assessment of existing infrastructure and solutions, along with vulnerability and penetration testing to discover any loopholes in a company’s operations.
With scheduled updates, back-up-as-a-service, and the right strategy to detect isolate, and destroy a cyber threat – including responding to the appropriate compliance legislation associated with it – healthcare organisations can continue to thrive with their Digital Transformation without compromising their operations at the same time.
Caring for Your Company
If you would like to find out more about how to improve your Integrated Healthcare solutions, or simply want to learn more about Digital Transformation and Cyber Security in a modern market, contact MOQdigital today.