The state of health care cybersecurity

December 8, 2015 Arctic Wolf Networks

As organizations become more reliant on technology for their everyday operations, they are increasingly at risk of cyberattacks. In particular,  health care is one industry that is being targeted more due to its stores of valuable personal data. For this reason, it's critical to look at just how this sector is being affected by these threats and what measures can be taken to better protect sensitive information.

Significant boost in attacks
More health organizations are moving their records to digital platforms, and these environments can leave this data vulnerable to breaches. In fact, an industry report released earlier this year found that there was a 600 percent increase in attacks on this sector within a 10-month period, The Times of India reported. It was also revealed that health care sees 340 percent more incidents than the average industry. The threat vectors can range from malware to system vulnerabilities and other advanced methods, making it essential for providers to invest in security incident event management (SIEM).

Not only are breaches overall increasing, but organizations are experiencing more events on their systems. A 2015 survey by KPMG found that 81 percent of health care institutions have been compromised by a cyberattack in the past two years. To make matters worse, 12 percent of those polled said they are are targeted two or more times a week, and 13 percent experience hack attempts about once a day. These numbers are significant, especially given the fact that many providers are still unprepared for these types of incidents.

Consequences for breaches
For health organizations that experience attacks, there are numerous ways they can be affected. According to Bloomberg, cybersecurity breaches in this sector cost $6 billion a year, with the average attack on a hospital amounting to $2.1 million.

However, these situations don't just create a huge bill, they also can severely damage a provider's reputation. If personal data is exposed, health care organizations must provide monitoring and are likely to lose clients as a result of their lack of protection.

Just think of examples like the Anthem breach from earlier this year, where thousands of records were compromised. Not only did Anthem incur huge recovery costs, but it also affected public trust. As these events become more common, it will be important to invest in the right tools to combat any malicious activity.

Leveraging SIEM
As shown, the health care industry is not only becoming more susceptible to attacks, but is also being severely affected by such incidents. In order to better protect the business and sensitive patient data, decision-makers should look into SIEM. This tool can monitor systems for any unusual behavior and notify managers about any potential issues. Insight of this level will not only help IT teams respond quickly to mitigate vulnerabilities, but also ensure that decision-makers have the information required to strengthen their cybersecurity footprint. With SIEM, health care operators can have peace of mind and be better prepared for the future.

Cybersecurity news and analysis brought to you by Arctic Wolf, leading provider of security incident event management services.


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