IT support providers in Atlanta are well-versed with the regulations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and there’s a big reason why healthcare businesses should partner with such professionals. Recent statistics have shown that cyberattacks are a significant risk to the healthcare industry. The vulnerability of healthcare systems has risen with the increasing use of electronic health records. While these records enable healthcare professionals and insurance firms to trade vital information, they also open up the systems to potential attacks. The following IT threats are particularly common in healthcare:
The threat of ransomware in healthcare has continued to grow, despite increased IT awareness among healthcare staff. Reports estimated that 23 percent of all healthcare organizations made some form of payment to attackers in 2018.
Typically, the attackers will infect a system in a healthcare organization and prevent employees from accessing patient files and other critical information. These attackers know that hospitals depend on quick access to information to provide the best care.
Most ransomware attacks are propagated via phishing, where employees are tricked through fraudulent emails. When faced with ransomware attacks, many hospitals opt to pay the demanded amount of money, which in some cases can be hard if the attackers ask for payment in bitcoin.
Use of Mobile Phones
More and more healthcare companies are adopting Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies where employees can log in to company systems using their phones, tablets, or laptops. If these devices are not secured, however, they could be a getaway for cyberattacks.
Most health applications that transmit identifying data over the internet do not utilize encryption. The situation can be made worse in the case of unencrypted computers with patient files getting stolen. IT support professionals in Atlanta can help you set security guidelines for all devices in your company’s network.
Employee negligence can leave a healthcare organization vulnerable to external cyberattacks. In addition to clicking on phishing emails, employees also practice poor password practices like saving passwords on one computer, utilizing predictable passwords, and reusing passwords across multiple platforms.
The loss of unsecured devices like phones and laptops is also a significant risk. Such devices can find their way into the wrong hands and provide access to sensitive information. An employee can, for example, upgrade to a new device and not log off from some applications in the old one.
Inadequate Investment in Cybersecurity
IT security is not often a priority in most healthcare organizations. If a company is not continually upgrading its software and hardware, there is always a risk of cyberattacks. Healthcare companies should also keep training their staff on the best IT practices to avoid employee negligence.
Maybe you don’t know this, but, medical records are highly valuable in the black market, which is enough incentive for cybercriminals to target healthcare organizations. At MIS Solutions, we recognize the importance of giving healthcare firms in Atlanta the most advanced IT support solutions. Contact us now to ensure that your systems are fully protected from cybercriminals.