Hospitals and healthcare facilities around the world hold highly sensitive information about their patients. Living in a digital age where cybersecurity threats continue to evolve, it’s understandable that there are huge concerns about healthcare data security. What’s more, these data breaches and malware attacks can compromise patient health records, with personal information being sold on the dark web. This isn’t just detrimental to the healthcare facility or organization, but is also disastrous for patients.
Protecting patient information is not just a legal obligation, but it is necessary to establish trust between a hospital and the patients it treats. This is why we need to see more investment in cybersecurity measures that allow healthcare providers to innovate and develop without any further risk. The incorporation of privacy opens up a number of opportunities while allowing patients to receive the best level of care. Here are some of the main reasons hospitals should invest in data security:
Healthcare Is a Common Target
Depending on where you are in the world, you’ll find that healthcare providers often lack funding to invest in cybersecurity protocols. IT departments are often small and are forced to work with archaic computing systems that are open to security threats.
Unlike other sectors such as business and law, which are driven by the bottom line, healthcare facilities don’t consider themselves as targets. Believe it or not, protected health information is considerably more valuable than credit card information.
Cyberattacks Can Debilitate Daily Operations and Cause Physical Harm to Sick People
If there is a cyber-attack on a critical hospital system, doctors may be unable to access patient records, which can delay treatment. Furthermore, cybercriminals know that causing a system to malfunction can be a matter of life and death, which is why they target the industry. With so much at stake, including the well-being of patients, boosting data security makes sense.
Recovering from Data Security Breaches Is Expensive
Cybersecurity attacks are on the rise across all sectors operating in this highly digitized environment. With so many access points, the expense of recovering from a cyberattack can put smaller entities out of business. Remember, it isn’t just about fixing the compromised system either. The cost of legal fees and penalties for compliance failures are other aspects to factor in.
Cyberattacks Have the Potential to Destroy Reputations
It is also important to factor in the importance of your organization’s reputation when investing in cybersecurity measures. With a number of well-documented cyber-attacks on the healthcare sector, the public are becoming increasingly careful about who they share information with. If a particular healthcare institution is a victim to a data breach that exposes patient data, that institution’s reputation will receive a pretty severe knock.
There is no avoiding the fact that in this highly digital age, all types of organizations are susceptible to cyber-attacks. Given the sensitive nature of the information held at healthcare institutions, it is easy to see why these have become a target for cybercriminals. It is therefore important that policymakers within these institutions prioritize cybersecurity as an investment rather than just an expense. Taking precautionary measures sooner rather than later will not just protect vulnerable patients, but will also potentially save the organization from long-term costs and reputational damage in the future.