Challenges in Healthcare Cybersecurity

By Art Gross, President and CEO, HIPAA Secure Now!
Twitter: @HIPAASecureNow
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The healthcare industry is always a top target for cybercriminals, but cybersecurity doesn’t always take the top spot when it comes to business concerns or plans in this sector. While we hear about breaches happening on a regular basis, we don’t seem to act at the same rate. What are the challenges that healthcare faces when it comes to giving cybersecurity the respect it deserves?

While these aren’t the beginning and end of the why or why not, they are factors that we need to consider when addressing the lack of emphasis put on a strong cybersecurity plan in our healthcare businesses.

Supply Chain

Strong security needs to be emphasized in all the links in the healthcare supply chain. Currently, the burden falls on the hospital or provider to ensure that all their components are up to par so that they are accountable to not only HIPAA but to their patient’s privacy and security on a cybersecurity level as well. While not easy, there needs to be demand put on the manufacturers to create secure equipment and devices that do not need additional reinforcement from the healthcare provider. Building strong cybersecurity into the devices from the beginning will ultimately help everyone from a security and cost perspective.

Experts on Staff

Healthcare focuses on the patient and the procedures that can create a better quality of life, save lives, and remediate sickness. Training and hiring the best doctors and staff in any field is the goal of any healthcare business. Success is often measured by the lives saved or cures that can be found within research from a healthcare team.

But, is the cybersecurity component of healthcare overlooked? The primary focus of human well-being is of the utmost importance. While we are never suggesting that life is less important than a breach, we do need to elevate the importance of having a strong cybersecurity program alongside medical treatment and research to protect these lives in a different way. Aside from compromising a patient’s private health information, imagine if a network went down when lifesaving surgery needed to be performed, or access to allergies wasn’t available when administering medication?

Putting in place a strong cybersecurity program needs to be a critical component in any healthcare business plan. From the way that we prioritize business needs, to the people that we hire, we need to keep this in mind with all decision-making.

This article was originally published on HIPAA Secure Now! and is republished here with permission.