Healthcare Cyber Security Trends: What You Need to Know

Cybersecurity in healthcare means taking network attacks seriously and being as prepared as possible, not only for yourself but for your patients. With threats looming, your medical practice needs to have cybersecurity at the forefront of your mind. Half the battle is keeping track of any healthcare cybersecurity trends, so you know precisely the kind of protection you need in a constantly changing world.?

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Related: What Is Application Security: A Beginner?s Guide

What You Need to Know:

stethoscope next to a laptop


Secure Medical Record Security Measures Will Become Even More Secure

That?s as a Direct Result of Increased Healthcare Data Breaches

Electronic data capture and electronic health records are a good thing for physicians and healthcare practitioners overall. EHRs have improved speed across hospital administration, and have made sharing patient records across various practitioners much easier. This results in faster treatment for patients.?


However, EHRs, being electronic and accessible on technology, are a walking cybersecurity risk if proper precautions are not taken. Digitizing workflows means taking on a chance for hackers to access data that otherwise would have only remained as hard copies.?


Increased healthcare data breaches have caused many to look at EHRs and the manner in which they are shared, stored, and analyzed more critically than before. We predict that hospitals will begin to implement new cybersecurity protections like incorporating AI or redefining their security training for employees to include more emphasis on EHR protection.

Email Phishing Even Gets Healthcare Systems

Email phishing is astronomically prevalent, and it has been around since the advent of cyber communication, really. It involves hackers sending emails to employees that look almost identical to ones coming from the company, and tricking them into clicking on a link embedded in that harmful email. Doing so allows malicious software to access your system, and seize your data by a variety of means like ransomware attacks or installing malignant keyloggers on your device. Email phishing doesn?t look like it?s going away anytime soon since it really is a tried and true method for hackers to take advantage of human oversight.?


Unsure if your employees know what to do in the event of a security breach? Contact Cyber Security Resource with your query!

AI and Other Automation Are on the Rise (Especially in the Healthcare Industry)


Artificial intelligence (AI) is the newest trend in healthcare and for good reason. AIs have developed so much that they are nearly indispensable for their role in healthcare data security. Machine learning and pattern recognition AIs are becoming more advanced at detecting serious inconsistencies in data quality, for example.?


Automation is also a great way to expedite data entry, cleaning, and consolidation. Beyond that, automated technology can pinpoint exactly where breaches occur and provide more information for engineers to better understand what happened, and how best to prevent it. Hospitals that choose to look into AI and automation are investing a system that not only provides returns on time but also on better security for their patients.?


Data Security Will Evolve

Data security protocols will improve as hackers get smarter. This can come in the form of patches for outdated software, updates to efficiency, and changing up the coding in order to make encryption and security even more protected against hackers. Even things as simple as two-factor authentication for access to cloud-based data repositories can make your data security better.?


Related: Vulnerability Assessment vs. Penetration Testing: What?s the Difference?

Shadow IT

Shadow IT is definitely becoming more of a pressing concern for healthcare administrators. Shadow IT is when a piece of technology or installed software runs without your IT department knowing about it or approving it. These software’s are usually installed by employees who are unaware of the serious risk they place their company for cybersecurity breaches. Malware disguised as SaaS applications, for example, are common, and can give hackers easy access to patient records. Furthermore, introducing applications or technology without the approval of IT means placing your work at risk for data loss, errors, and compliance issues.?


Ransomware is on track to get even worse than it already is. Ransomware is an attack whereby the attacker prevents authorized personnel from accessing their files or data in exchange for something, usually a large amount of money transferred by way of bitcoin. What makes it so problematic is how attackers, being in complete control of your data node now, can demand even more.??


Ransomware attacks in healthcare are not novel, and they have happened with surprising frequency in the past. Some hospitals even had to halt patient visits due to them. It is because of this concerning trend that we would like to remind medical practices that protection against ransomware is possible through the strategic implementation of updated cybersecurity protocols.?

Adware About Healthcare: The Pros and Cons

Adware is any kind of software that downloads or displays an ad when you access a page on the Internet. Many times, the ads are simply annoying popups, and a pop blocker can do the trick. But sometimes, adware contains harmful viruses that can install themselves on your device without you even knowing. This gives criminals access to things like your email, where they can then trick you into providing even more personal information.?


It is important to educate yourself and your staff on safe internet usage and to remind everyone that unsafe websites are not to be accessed while on company devices.?

What Can You Do To Protect Yourself?


a physician in scrubs


If you are a hospital administrator or an employee, you can take the first step in improving your security by staying informed on the latest developments in cybersecurity, and applying what you?ve learned to your workplace. If you know that your SOP lacks language specifically instructing what employees should do in the event of a critical cybersecurity breach, bringing up your concerns to your supervisor may result in better training protocols for all employees.?


If you decide to introduce more sophisticated cybersecurity practices, our team at Cyber Security Resource is your best bet for designing and implementing trusted cybersecurity protocols for your team. We specialize in assessing cybersecurity risk and producing solutions for your team to improve information security and even your incident response. We never want clients to feel like implementing better cybersecurity practices and software is impossible, and we pride ourselves on being thorough, informative, and accessible for any team.?


Related: Best Cyber Security Frameworks for 2018

Final Thoughts

Cybersecurity threats are a big problem for medical practices, but staying on top of trends in cyber attacks can help you prepare better. From fine-tuning your training to rehauling your data framework, you can prevent data attacks before they happen. As technology gets more sophisticated, so do attackers; it is up to you to be informed on their methods, and how best to protect your patient data.?


Are you ready to implement better cybersecurity practices for your medical group? Contact Cyber Security Resource for guidance!

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