It’s no secret: healthcare cybersecurity is a growing concern for healthcare systems globally.
With the rise of patient-centered care and digitization, healthcare organizations are collecting and storing more data than ever before. This presents a growing risk that hackers could access sensitive information on a large scale—and it’s imperative for organizations to safely extend their services beyond their own walls in 2023.
While healthcare organizations have been working to improve their cybersecurity over the last few years, they must still prioritize this issue if they want to protect patients’ privacy and prevent attacks from causing damage to their reputations or finances.
Notable security breaches in healthcare in 2022
The first half of 2022 saw a number of notable security breaches in healthcare, with the theft of medical records and the use of malware to steal data making headlines. The second half saw ransomware used to hold health data hostage.
As health data becomes more digital, it becomes more vulnerable to attack. And because health data is becoming more valuable than credit card information, cyberattacks are only becoming more frequent—so frequent that cybersecurity tops the list of all technology issues facing the healthcare industry, ranking ahead of even supply chain challenges and a lack of emergency stockpiles.
In 2023, hackers will only revamp their efforts to exploit this value by holding health data hostage in exchange for a ransom.
Challenges of IT in healthcare
In the healthcare industry, cutting-edge IT departments are vital to protecting patient information.
The amount of data collected by the industry is enormous: medical records, banking and insurance information, laboratory test results—the list goes on. And protecting that data continues to become more complex and more difficult.
The healthcare industry faces many challenges related to cybersecurity that other industries simply don’t:
- Healthcare organizations are heavily regulated and must adhere to HIPAA regulations at all times; if they don’t follow these rules correctly, penalties could result in fines up to $1 million per violation.
- Patient privacy is critical; this requires constant attention from staff at all levels within an organization so that no one violates patient rights when handling personal data.
- New legal requirements for privacy protection arise constantly due to technology advances and evolving business needs (e.g., pharmaceutical companies wanting access through electronic means).
Artificial intelligence set to greatly improve cybersecurity capabilities
Fortunately, help is on the way.
Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to advance at a rapid pace, carrying with it the potential to greatly improve cybersecurity capabilities. And healthcare leaders seem to agree—nearly 70% of health system executives say they plan to invest more into AI in the coming years.
AI can help improve security policies by providing continuously updated information on the latest threats (it also helps that AI never sleeps and never asks for time off). It also allows organizations to keep track of their security posture by providing visibility into what their systems are doing in real-time, so they can adjust as needed.
As the healthcare industry adapts to evolving threats, a few things are paramount for healthcare leaders. These include prioritizing cybersecurity measures and including them as part of their risk management plans, and supporting these efforts in their budgets.
Healthcare Recruiters International (HCRI)
At HCRI, we understand how critical It Is to address the myriad of technological challenges your organization faces—and we’re here to help. Our team of executive healthcare recruiters specialize in placing C-Level executives, VP’s, Directors and other healthcare executive leadership roles. Contact us today to start the search for your next leader.