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Cybersecurity Challenges in Healthcare

Cybersecurity Challenges in Healthcare Data Management

Topic: Cybersecurity Challenges in Healthcare Data Management

Cybersecurity has become the topmost priority for many industries. Among those, it is more crucial for the healthcare industry which demands higher accuracy at all times and can have severe effects when affected. Many healthcare organizations have taken technology as an ally and have created numerous beneficial applications. However, this digitization has left the industry prone to numerous cyber attacks as the systems now deal with a lot of digital data/information.

Healthcare systems such as EHR systems, e-prescribing systems, practice management support systems, clinical decision support systems, radiology information systems, and any more are some of the primary examples of the various specialized hospital information systems that can be compromised by attackers.

Healthcare Data Management is among the information systems that call for high accuracy when dealing with patients’ data. It is the practice of acquiring, examining, and maintaining records of patients to offer quality treatment and other healthcare-related services to the end-users. Health Data Management makes sense of the user data and manages it to the benefit of healthcare organizations, practitioners, and patient health and well-being. Hence, it is imperative for healthcare organizations to safeguard this data for the continued welfare of the patients and ongoing medical processes.

However, managing and safeguarding it is not that easy. Last year, more than 40% of health care organizations experienced a cyber attack involving the “WannaCry” ransomware. One of the most seriously impacted victims of the WannaCry ransomware attack was the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK where some hospitals were forced to cancel outpatient appointments. Going ahead, healthcare organizations must stay at the forefront of safeguarding their and patients’ data and understand what are the challenges that govern data security practices.

Cybersecurity and Healthcare

Healthcare institutions collectively hold huge amounts of highly sensitive information. This information comes from a wide population and even contains crucial financial data. And according to reports, while other industries have taken a stance in detecting and counter-attacking cyber threats, the healthcare industry has been slow to adopt cybersecurity, and attackers have shifted their focus to the less protective healthcare sector. In 2017, the total number of healthcare breaches mounted to 477, affecting 5.6 million patient records. Many healthcare organizations also have low budgets and even smaller teams catering to the cybersecurity landscape. As a result, many healthcare personnel remains unaware of the risks of data breaches.

As healthcare organizations embrace new technologies and create new areas of growth, it is the role of Chief Information Officers to create an IT infrastructure capable of mitigating threats and have backup plans to ensure the data is available when needed.

Topic Discussed: Cybersecurity Challenges in Healthcare Data Management

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