The swarm of cyberattacks targeting the healthcare sector isn’t showing any signs of letting up. In fact, healthcare often ends up in the spotlight when it comes to cybersecurity incidents where patient health records are compromised and end up being sold on the dark web. But that’s not the only threat to worry about.
Meeting the demands of information security and compliance is more than just a legal need, it also drives growth and establishes trust with customers. That’s why you need to invest in cybersecurity before you can innovate without adding risk. By incorporating security and privacy by design and default, you can open up many lucrative new opportunities all while delivering better care to your patients.
Here are five reasons your practice should invest in better cybersecurity:
#1. Healthcare organizations are often seen as easy targets
Healthcare providers are often underfunded and lack effective and up-to-date security protocols. Many of them don’t have dedicated IT departments, and some are trying to make do with aging in-house computing systems with lots of potential security holes.
To make matters worse, many healthcare organizations often don’t think they’re big targets like the financial and legal sectors. In fact, the opposite is the case. Protected health information (PHI) is far more valuable on the black market than, for example, payment card data.
#2. Cyberthreats can result in physical harm
If a cyberattack targets a critical hospital system, doctors might be left unable to access critical patient records. Similarly, the increasing connectedness of today’s technology environments can cause medical systems themselves to malfunction. For example, ransomware frequently targets healthcare because attackers know that paying up can quite literally become a matter of life and death.
With so much at stake, the physical and mental well-being of your patients most of all, boosting security has never been more important.
#3. Information leaks may constitute a breach of compliance
All PHI is subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which means every healthcare provider or organization that handles PHI on behalf of another must be fully compliant. One of the biggest challenges of becoming compliant is that the law itself doesn’t explicitly specify the technology controls that need to be put in place. However, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act does make the requirements clearer.
Even if an information leak doesn’t have particularly serious consequences for your patients, it could still reveal a breach of compliance, thus leading to substantial fines and reputational damage.
#4. It’s getting more expensive to recover from an incident
The cost of cybersecurity incidents is increasing all the time as people and businesses become more dependent on connected technology. With many more potential access points than ever before, the costs of remediating following a disaster can often end up being great enough to result in victims being put out of business.
It’s not just the costs of repairing and recovering compromised systems that you need to think about either. On top of that are the harder-to-quantify costs, such as reputational damage and potential litigation fees and penalties for compliance failings.
#5. Your reputation depends on it
In light of numerous high-profile attacks and scandals, people are growing warier about who they do business with. The same applies to patients, who are increasingly mindful of which organizations they provide intimate information like PHI. If your organization suffers a serious data breach that leaves patient information exposed, your reputation will take a severe hit.
That’s why you should think of cybersecurity as an investment rather than an expense. Not only will it help protect your organization, but it will also make your company more attractive to your patients.
Netcom Solutions provides expertly managed and monitored technology services to healthcare providers in Miami. Call us today to ask us your questions.
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