Healthcare has long been one of the top industries at risk for cyberattacks and data breaches, and the risk is only increasing. The COVID-19 pandemic placed the industry in the limelight, causing cyberattacks on healthcare organizations to double in 2020. The pandemic also pushed healthcare providers to adopt new and exciting IoT technologies — and in turn, open up more vulnerabilities to hackers.
What will the future hold for this evolving industry? Only time will tell, but these are our predictions for cybersecurity in healthcare.
Evolving Tech Means Evolving Risk
In the past, the healthcare industry has gotten a bad rap for its slow adoption of new technologies. But in 2020, the need for socially distanced healthcare and an unprecedented strain on vaccine supply chains pushed the healthcare industry to rapidly advance its technological capabilities.
Between increased telehealth, symptom-checking chatbots powered by AI, real-time tracking of millions of vaccines and patients, and the interoperable systems designed to keep all of these moving parts running in tandem, the healthcare landscape looks drastically different than it did just two years ago. Hospitals, physicians’ offices, pharmacies, insurance companies, and supply chain systems are all processing more data than ever before.
Mass amounts of data in new and vulnerable digital environments are a treasure trove for cyberthieves, who employ a wide range of cyberthreats against healthcare providers. In late 2020, the FBI announced it was investigating a slew of attacks on the public health sector. In particular, the FBI warned healthcare providers to be aware of a rise in ransomware attacks.
Healthcare Cyberthreats in 2021 and Beyond
As technology advances, so do the ways that hackers attack their victims. Hackers are no longer simply re-selling stolen data on the dark web — they’re using the industry’s wealth of data against them by holding it hostage.
In recent years, there has been a significant rise in ransomware attacks in all sectors, including healthcare. In fact, 28% of all cyberattacks on healthcare providers in 2020 were attributed to ransomware. During one such attack on a hospital in Germany, hackers rendered the hospital’s computer inoperable. The cyberattack forced doctors to transfer patients to a new hospital — a move that proved fatal to one patient, resulting in what’s been called the world’s first death by hacking.
While most ransomware attacks aren’t fatal, the threat is still very real. The average global cost of a ransomware attack is $761,106, not to mention the cost of rebuilding lost trust from patients and customers.
Beyond ransomware, the cost of a data breach — whether by phishing attack, an internal actor or by simple oversight — is the most expensive for healthcare than any other sector. In 2021 and beyond, it will be critical for the health sector to invest in protecting both patients and employees against ransomware and other cyberthreats.
Secure Your Patients’ Payments, PII and PHI
Cyberattacks in healthcare show no signs of slowing – but you can quickly and effectively “devalue” your patients’ payment data, Personal Health Information (PHI), and Personally Identifiable Information (PII) with Bluefin’s payment and data security products.
Our healthcare security suite includes PCI-validated point-to-point encryption (P2PE) for contactless face-to-face, call center, mobile and unattended patient payments, and our ShieldConex® data security platform for the protection of PHI, PII and payment data entered online. Our partner network currently includes over 135 processors, payment gateways and ISV’s operating in 36 countries, which provide Bluefin’s P2PE solutions direct to healthcare organizations, hospitals and enterprises. Our recent webinar with HIMSS discusses the value of encryption and tokenization to healthcare.
Contacts us to learn more about how Bluefin can help devalue your sensitive data, reduce PCI compliance scope, meet data privacy regulations and protect your brand.