Why Healthcare Companies Keep Getting Hacked, and What They Can Do To Stop It

Mike Baker
Mike Baker

Guest post by Mike Baker, principal, Mosaic451

Data breaches and HIPAA violations became common, almost daily, news in 2015, exposing sensitive client information with devastating results. Understanding HIPAA compliance will be critical in 2016, especially since the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will begin a new round of HIPAA audits.

In spite of record spending on firewalls, anti-virus software, malware detectors and the widget of the day, healthcare organizations keep getting hacked because the focus is in the wrong place. Here are three trends taking presence in 2016 that can help any organization fight the good fight against cyberattacks.

Buying Technology Alone is a Security Strategy That Does Not Work

Healthcare is under constant pressure to safeguard assets, however too many firms focus on security for HIPAA compliancy and then call it a day. Compliance is a legal necessity, but organizations expose themselves to cyberattack when use technology as a crutch. Many organizations will need to look at their operations as a critical network and seek ways to defend it.

A majority of breaches are from data that has been stolen, via record removal, virtually and physically. We see the trend in 2016 shifting from technology to people if healthcare organizations are going to defeat hackers.

Focus on the Human Element

Examine the largest data breaches of 2015. Technology did not protect the vast majority of these companies. In each case, data was breached due to hackers successfully exploiting humans.

The proliferation of mobile devices in healthcare like smartphones and tablets have also made the human element even more vulnerable because this area of security is often overlooked and is, in fact, the weakest link.

Technology is only as good as the people who use it and is merely a tool in the fight against cybercrime. Technology alone cannot fully protect an organization’s data, networks, or interests. This is a trend in 2016 and beyond that must be recognized if organization hope to safeguard patient records.

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