What Are Healthcare’s Biggest Cybersecurity Weak Spots?

Security Boulevard

The COVID-19 pandemic threatens the healthcare industry in multiple ways. Much has been written about the danger to nurses and doctors and the perilous economic realities providers face. Just as risky but less discussed are cyberattacks in the middle of an overwhelming healthcare emergency.

Hackers have increasingly targeted healthcare institutions in recent years, and the gravity of the present moment hasn’t slowed them down at all. The World Health Organization (WHO), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and one of the largest coronavirus testing facilities in the Czech Republic have all been successfully attacked in recent weeks. Ever ruthless, hackers see right now as a golden opportunity to target vulnerable (and valuable) healthcare organizations.

That should alarm anyone handling healthcare cybersecurity because while there’s never a good time for an attack, there’s never been a worse time than the present. With clinics and hospitals facing an all-hands-on-deck scenario where resources are stretched incredibly thin, adding IT issues to the mix could make it much harder or even impossible to deliver care. For patients, providers, and administrators alike, cyberattacks put the whole system in jeopardy.

Acknowledging the size of the risk is the first priority. Breaking down the most likely attacks is the second. According to our own research, nearly a quarter of consumers believe their healthcare provider lacks adequate security against web browser attacks and phishing schemes. Unfortunately, they’re right – and hackers know it too.

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