The healthcare industry has been a prime target for cyber security breaches throughout the years. Between ransomware, malware, phishing, and more, hackers have found a lucrative target in healthcare related businesses. While many of these companies are doing their best to fight back, 2016 and 2017 proved to be a losing battle as reports of security breaches are on the rise. So why does the healthcare industry struggle so much with cyber security?
Better yet, what should they do about it?
The answer isn’t simple, and it isn’t singular. While causes vary from case to case, there are several common trends across the healthcare industry that are impacting the integrity of its IT security.
Minimal Budgets Lead to Minimal Security
In spite of the sensitive information healthcare businesses work with, the budget invested toward IT security remains modestly low. On average, the healthcare industry as a whole invests less than 6% of their budget toward implementing and maintaining cyber security measures.*
Compared to the federal IT budget of 16%, it is a lean budget for an industry dealing with sensitive and lucrative private information. In fact, it’s one of the lowest average budgets across all major industries despite the high dollar value placed on their files.
To give you an idea of why hackers are targeting healthcare industries, the average profit of selling social security and credit card numbers on the black market is $1 while a single medical file sells for $50, making it significantly more profitable.
Hack into a hospital or medical facility’s entire database and you can make a profit large enough to retire.
The Impervious Defense Approach is Never Impervious
The more you learn about the numerous and constantly evolving ways hackers implement cyber attacks and dig into databases, the harder it will be to sleep at night. The truth is that it is practically impossible to defend against it all.
Instead of building a fort, build a strategy. Just like wars aren’t fought by taking all of your fire power and throwing it at the enemy, neither should your cyber security be designed by implementing every security measure available. Know your enemy and what it is that makes your business vulnerable, and then gear your security around protecting that vulnerability.
Hackers target healthcare companies for profit, be it through ransomware or the theft of sensitive medical files. With this in mind, you can analyze past attacks and build your digital defense to bar attacks of this nature.
Most healthcare industry attacks start with phishing. Phishing is a strategy implemented by cyber criminals to steal information and install malicious software onto your computer. This can be done various ways, such as e-mail, websites, or even deceptive phone calls. Through social engineering, these individuals can be incredibly slick in acquiring the information they want, so educating your staff on phishing risks should be part of your strategy.
The best way to do this is to train your staff and every new hire on what to look out for so that they can be proactive in your security.
When in Doubt, Trust the Experts
Skylink’s Chief Technology Officer Jacob Ackerman offered sound advice during a Technology Panel in Fort Myers: “Don’t think you can do this all yourself.” When it comes to protecting data, including high risk information, many businesses turn to the experts.
Skylink Data Centers works with a wide array of clients, from businesses and restaurants to government entities. If you are a business looking for secure hosting solutions that will keep your business safe and running, call us. Skylink Data Centers is a high functioning fortress protected against both physical and digital threats.