cyberattacks in healthcare

From life-saving surgery to vaccines for the vulnerable, healthcare is essential worldwide. Increasing levels of digitisation have transformed the industry in recent years, streamlining systems and keeping healthcare providers online, connected, and capable of delivering enhanced patient care.

Yet with the benefits of digital revolution come unprecedented threats. A recent cyberattack on a hospital chain has shown how the healthcare sector is becoming a primary target for hackers, with increasing reliance on technology leaving healthcare providers open to devastating digital assaults. This attack has pinpointed key vulnerabilities within the industry, highlighting opportunities to improve cyber resilience and safeguard sensitive data.


File interception

As the healthcare industry embraces a digital-first mindset, hospitals and healthcare providers are becoming ever more reliant on technology that enables collaboration, efficiency and enhanced data accessibility.

With practices often dispersed across different facilities, file sharing capabilities allow healthcare professionals to access patient data from different locations, facilitating easy collaboration across teams and supporting the integration of various systems for seamless information exchange. This approach also enables continuity of care, improving the patient experience by equipping practitioners with a full medical history at the touch of a button.

Yet when files are shared digitally, they are vulnerable to interception. Unauthorised access enables criminals to tamper with patient data, leading to loss of confidentiality and data integrity risks that could lead to incorrect diagnoses, treatment errors and compromised patient safety.

The solution: Secure collaboration

To enable healthcare facilities to collaborate with confidence, file sharing and storage needs to be watertight. Secure collaboration solutions integrate seamlessly with software applications, providing healthcare facilities with a streamlined, secure and unified platform for storing, sharing, synchronising and accessing files. With seamless backup and recovery features, these solutions are designed to ensure data integrity and accessibility.

Whether deployed on-premises or accessed through the cloud, users have the flexibility to choose their preferred storage location, aligning with data protection regulations and ensuring ongoing compliance.


Data breaches

Sensitive health data is everywhere. In a remote-working world, vast quantities of critical information are delivered to the edges of networks, with doctors accessing data via smartphones, laptops and other remote mobile devices.

When it comes to accessing patient information and delivering services remotely, the distributed nature of data is a vital facilitator. It enables virtual consultations, makes it easier to seek second opinions, and allows healthcare teams to collaborate in real time by sharing patient data and insights across different locations. However, by making data accessible in this way, every device becomes a potential point of vulnerability. The more points of ingress there are, the more scope there is for hackers to launch network-wide cyber-attacks, and the more risk of data being leaked or sold to malicious third parties.

This can compromise patient privacy, leading to potential identity theft and financial fraud. And, when this happens, organisations face not only the financial cost of remediation, but also significant reputational damage.

The solution: Data encryption

With so much riding on data security, healthcare providers must adopt a ‘trust nothing, encrypt everything’ mindset. Network encryption solutions can help to maintain confidentiality, ensuring sensitive data remains unreadable without the proper access key.

Certified by leading cybersecurity authorities (e.g. FIPS, Common Criteria), network encryptors ensure a secure foundation for data protection. With state-of-the-art encryption key management, they shield sensitive information, ensuring only authorised parties can access encrypted data. End-to-end data encryption ensures the integrity of information, which is crucial for safeguarding patient data and maintaining trust and confidence in healthcare authorities.


Malware attacks

Malicious software attacks can have a catastrophic impact on the healthcare industry, posing significant threats to patient safety and privacy, data integrity and the overall functionality of healthcare systems. Ransomware can infiltrate and disrupt critical healthcare infrastructure, leading to operational paralysis and holding healthcare providers hostage indefinitely until they agree to pay vast sums of money.

Not only do attacks of this nature jeopardise patient privacy and trust, but they also leave healthcare providers at the mercy of financial, legal and regulatory consequences. The economic implications can be crippling: a 2023 report by IBM found that the average cost of cyberattacks has reached an all-time high of $4.45 million.

As the healthcare sector increasingly relies on digital systems and interconnected devices, robust cybersecurity measures are vital for safeguarding patient wellbeing and the integrity of healthcare services.

The solution: Zero trust content security

The best, state-of-the-art Zero trust solutions ensure security without compromising performance and convenience. By seamlessly aligning with existing IT and security platforms, zero trust services ensure secure content delivery across all communication channels, covering everything from email to cloud apps and collaboration platforms. With anti-malware technology, zero trust solutions proactively defend against sophisticated cyber threats, sanitising files and safeguarding against cyberattacks across the whole network.

Most importantly, they maintain the integrity of file content and functionality, providing a seamless user experience while providing robust protection against the evolving landscape of cyber threats.

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