By Stephen Manley, CTO, Druva.
The biggest healthcare innovation in the last twenty years is … data. Every day, healthcare organizations use data to operate more efficiently, improve patient care, and advance medical research. Over the last 24 months, the industry used data to advance mRNA technology, which laid the groundwork for the COVID-19 vaccines, and even led to a new treatment for type-two diabetes.
The recent medical breakthroughs speak to the power of data and the vast potential it has to help improve lives. Unfortunately, as data becomes more valuable, the threats become more dire. As the attackers evolve, organizations need to take a holistic approach if they want to defeat the threats.
The Critical Risks to Healthcare Data
Ransomware is the leading risk. Sensitive data is a honey pot to cybercriminals, and because healthcare organizations maintain so much of it (i.e., medical records, patient forms, health insurance claims, provider and patient communication records, etc.) they are vulnerable targets.
Cyber attacks on healthcare organizations have become so frequent that 45 million people were directly affected in 2021. This summer, one of the largest healthcare cyber incidents to date struck more than 2 million patients across 50 facilities in an attack on Shields Health Care Group.
If the right systems aren’t in place, recovering after a cyber attack such as ransomware can be an exhausting process that takes weeks or months. Even more concerning, businesses are sometimes unable to fully restore data lost in an attack. Aside from productivity disruption, losing critical healthcare data could impact an organization’s ability to maintain its operations. If you are a hospital or healthcare provider – this could be catastrophic. Some often resort to paying large ransoms to resolve the issue, but this should never be the solution.