Cybersecurity has been a major concern facing many digitalized businesses. Hackers have developed more sophisticated ways to breach security systems and steal essential data from businesses. Such security issues may cause significant financial loss and bring a business down to its knees.
Healthcare is one of the sectors that has been hard hit by cybercrime. This is due to the sector’s adaptation of technological advancement used in areas like storing patients’ data. Unfortunately, while the technology has positively impacted the provision of services, it’s also created an opportunity for hackers to attack and steal information. As a result, healthcare becomes an easy target for cybercriminals due to the nature of their information system.
Reasons For Cyberattacks On Healthcare
As stated, the healthcare sector isn’t immune to cyberattacks and other forms of security breaches from criminals. These attacks are being targeted due to the many loopholes that the sector has.
Here are some of the reasons why healthcare is targeted:
- The Password Problem
One of the major concerns affecting healthcare is the lack of good passwords. An explanation of the password problem is when healthcare workers don’t set strong passwords on their devices for fear of forgetting them. In turn, they end up using weak passwords, such as their phone numbers or names.
This makes it easy for attackers to breach security and steal important information. In addition, colleagues can guess simple passwords, and they can use them to access your accounts. The password problem affects many businesses, as well as individuals. You should, therefore, be creative with your password and make it unique.
- Lucrative Medical Records
Medical records always contain important information that could be lucrative to hackers when they sell them. Such information includes names, contact information, and credit card numbers when patients pay bills through bank cards. The attackers can then use these pieces of information to directly attack the patients or sell them to other people.
Because some medical facilities aren’t well-protected from security breaches, the patients’ data aren’t safe. Therefore, attackers use these loopholes to launch attacks on people.
- Lack of Proper Training
Most hospitals invest much of their resources in training workers about the medical side of any technology they acquire. In these cases, the security side of the systems is usually assumed as workers may not find it helpful in the medical field. In addition, the cost of training medics about online risks could be high and time-consuming.
Cases of negligence from hospitals and workers make the healthcare sector an easy target for attackers. Sometimes, workers can leave their computers on after logging in, which creates an entry point for attackers. To avoid this, the facility can invest in proper health security systems that monitor and restrict logins.
- Health Information Is Shareable, Hence, Vulnerable
Health information about a patient always needs to be shared by staff in the facility, remotely, or a referral hospital. The information may also be sent to the patient of the family. This happens even in cases where the information is confidential. Once the need arises, it’ll have to be shared.
Sharing this information to different platforms gives attackers a chance to intercept the information and steal it. Even in cases where the hospital has a proper security system, the people and the devices they’re sending the information to may not be well-protected. This increases the attacks on healthcare records.
- Lack of Resources For Smaller Healthcare Facilities
The demand for healthcare services has led to the emergence of many small hospitals. While these healthcare centers may be equipped to provide medical services, they may also lack the extra funds to secure their systems. As a result, they’re vulnerable to attacks as they can’t stand a chance against more advanced hacking techniques.
These small hospitals are many, meaning that criminals have a broader target when launching attacks. When compromised, the hospitals can be asked to pay ransom or risk having their operations affected. Such financial losses have devastating effects on a facility.
- Outdated Technology
Technology plays a significant role in healthcare system. However, some of the devices in healthcare facilities are outdated, and hospitals find it hard to upgrade due to inconveniences, such as training workers again. As long as these devices serve the hospital as intended, it’s improbable that they’ll update the software used or acquire new ones.
As such, these devices are always prone to attackers. Hackers may be fully aware of these loopholes, and they can take advantage of them. Unless the facilities use more secure software and technology in their devices, they’ll continue being targeted by criminals to steal information. Health information are important as missing records may affect your health; therefore, it needs to be well-protected.
The healthcare sector is a crucial part of any country. It holds important information and saves lives. However, the many devices and nature of work in these facilities mean that they’re not protected well enough against cybercrimes.
Criminals can easily take advantage of this and target healthcare services. It’s, therefore, important that every facility invests in security infrastructure that’ll protect them all time. People’s lives may depend on this information; therefore, secure health centers are an urgent need.