Remember just a few years ago when only your doctor knew your medical history? Today, with large-scale digitisation and shaky print security, it’s not just doctors but hospital employees, contractors, and agents who can sneak a peek into your confidential medical records. Sounds like confidentiality’s just flown out the window, right?
Across the globe, the health care industry is a target for hackers, and that means one thing—there’s an immediate need to protect the files, prescription records, insurance, and billing details of every patient.
Digitisation + medical records = vulnerabilities
Digitisation is taking over operations around the globe, and the concerns about cybersecurity are not unfounded. Recent ransomware attacks, like WannaCry and Petya, are the perfect indicators of just how vulnerable our health care systems have become. Want to get technical? WannaCry alone affected 200,000 machines in 150 countries, devastating the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). Cyber attacks have become more frequent and sophisticated than ever, and they’re only going to increase in number. In fact, IDC recently predicted that ransomware attacks on the health care industry are likely to double by 2018.
After all, the consequences of cyber fraud in health care are more than just the (obvious) financial damage. A stolen credit card can be canceled and replaced with a new one, but medical records can be compromised for years—potentially putting patients’ lives at risk and leading to fatal consequences.
Warning: Your medical records are a one-stop shop
We all know that medical records contain extremely confidential information about your illnesses and medicines. But that’s not all—they also include crucial financial data, like your credit card numbers, medical bills, insurance details, and other information that hackers can secretly breach.
The hard trust is a data breach in the health care industry can be way more devastating than a breach in the financial sector. Medical records contain some valuable personal information—pretty much everything that data hackers want—making them ideal targets to grab large amounts of information in one place. For an industry that thrives on trust, data theft can severely hurt a reputation, so it’s a no-brainer—security is a nonnegotiable in the health care industry, and everyone needs to take measures to enhance security across the board.
Back up and lock down
What do you need to do? To start, health care companies should incorporate well-defined security mechanisms at all levels. Update your existing system security and train your workers. And don’t forget, data encryption is emerging as a crucial technology that can protect data, reduce vulnerability to attacks, and ensure that access to confidential data is restricted to authorised personnel only.
When it comes to health care, it’s more important than ever for organisations to introduce a comprehensive backup plan and have a recovery process in place if the worst-case scenario happens—the dreaded cybersecurity breach.
Is printer security a blind spot in your network?
Any device that comes into contact with your office systems needs to be secured, whether it’s a new computer or an old-and-forgotten printer. But here’s something you probably didn’t know—while these items are the least suspected office weak points, they actually have the potential to be the most damaging. Turns out, they can open up the entire network to vulnerabilities. It’s easy to overlook printer security, and many organisations don’t think they need to secure their print infrastructure at all.
In reality, an old printer can actually be the weakest link in your network. When experts believe that print security is just as critical as the security of any other device on the network, it’s time to pay attention. A multifunction printer can detect, protect, and automatically self-heal in the case of an attack. When it’s that easy, you don’t have to let a printer be the last blind spot in your IT security strategy.
As the health care industry modernises, it needs to keep potential hackers in mind. Encrypt your data and regularly train your workforce to enhance overall security and keep the health care industry healthy. Most importantly, don’t forget that ensuring the security of all devices—even the print infrastructure—can keep hackers out and patient information hidden.