On the weekend of May 12, amateur hackers executed an unprecedented ransomware attack that hit more than 200,000 companies, including hospital networks, in over 150 countries.
The attack is being heralded as one of the largest online extortion attempts ever recorded. With the increasing complexity of technology in the healthcare market, it is imperative that providers understand where the risks lie, and how they can protect their data from this - and many other very real cyber threats.
As technology continues to impact the way the healthcare industry functions at its core, key breakthroughs are disrupting the industry, allowing for new systems and tools to revolutionize care delivery and maximize patient results in a landscape of outcomes-based care. This creation, dissemination, and storage of critical health data can pose severe risks for organizations that fall victim to information hackers. In 2016, roughly 377 healthcare data breaches were reported, with a shocking two-thirds of pharmacy manufacturers experiencing a data breach, one-quarter of which were the direct result of malicious hacking. In general, companies with breached data experienced a devastating $4 million loss per incident.
Now more than ever, it’s imperative to ensure that healthcare organizations and their technology partners are implementing top-tier data security systems, working from the inside out to prevent these incidents from occurring.
To explore healthcare data security and how organizations can protect themselves, Therigy has published a white paper that’s available for digital download by any organization or individual.
How Can Healthcare Organizations Protect Themselves?
The white paper poses critical questions and a checklist for healthcare organizations to evaluate their current state of data security. Once these organizations have a strong understanding of where their strengths and weaknesses lie, they can collaborate with existing and new partners to close any gaps and fortify key security areas.
There are three main pillars to a multi-layered data security approach:
- Network security: Especially for cloud-based data access, network security is a foundational approach that works to encrypt sensitive data, assess vulnerabilities, and detect potential intrusions in real-time.
- Application security: Once the hardware and physical structures of data security are in place, organizations should ensure software security through strategies that include built-in software development lifecycles, change management, and continued software-side data and traffic-encryption techniques.
- Organizational security: From top to bottom, data security should be built into the foundational culture of every healthcare organization. From user authentication to data loss prevention to mobile device management, each member of the organization should be vetted, trained, and compliant with data security best practices.
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
The dire reality is that hackers and data thieves are growing increasingly more capable and determined. Even when organizations have strong, comprehensive data security systems in place, it’s critical to develop organization-wide management strategies that encompass the company headquarters, as well as primary and secondary datacenters.
Having these systems and plans in place will equip healthcare organizations from all angles, working to minimize – and ideally completely prevent – any loss and subsequent harm to the company, its patients, and its stakeholders.
Therigy’s Holistic Data Security Features
Therigy offers comprehensive data security measures, focusing on the three pillars of security and weaving these strategies into the foundational operation of each organization. If you’re interested in learning more about the intricacies of data security and how your organization can protect itself from disaster, download Therigy’s white paper here.