How Healthcare Industry can deal with Cyberattacks

How Healthcare Industry can deal with Cyberattacks

Needless to say, one would definitely fall short of words when it comes to praising the healthcare sector for what it has been. Having said that, the role played by this sector especially in the global pandemic needs no special mention. This sector, in addition to being under a lot of pressure to provide services to the needy, is also struggling with numerous cyber-crimes for quite some time now. Be it Distributed Denial of service attack, ransomware attack, botnets or any cyber-attack for that matter, the healthcare sector has seen it all.

Healthcare is one of the most adversely affected sectors in terms of cyber-attacks. The struggle to manage help people (patients) and the need to protect the extremely sensitive information of them has always been a tough task and that's the reason why the sector has seen some really bad cyber-attacks in the past. Covid-19 adds to this and makes matters worse. With the outbreak of Covid-19, this sector seems to have faced a lot more risks pertaining to cybersecurity. Hospital yards and vaccine development labs have seen the worst possible cyber-attacks. In this current situation where the development of vaccines is critical and the fact that the economy is severely dependent on the same, attacks to disrupt the economy of other countries are very much possible.

What can healthcare organizations do here? Just like we have insurance plans that cover our health, the concept of cyber insurance can serve to be a good option here. This, to some extent, can aid in getting things back to normal.

With more and more hackers engaging in cyber breaches, the healthcare sector is undoubtedly struggling to keep up with all of this. Thankfully, there are some groups that are voluntarily coming up to help the healthcare sector deal with the same. Also, a lot of initiatives are being taken up as well by the healthcare sector in order to fight these cyber-crimes. It is now seen that the healthcare organizations are working in the areas of suitable anti-virus, appropriate monitoring, patching the systems and so on. Updating regularly is also something that is being focussed on.

It is also worth noting that the healthcare sector is highly vulnerable to such cyber-attacks because the sector is not equipped with highly skilled teams that'd take care of these attacks and mitigate them without much efforts being put. This is where technology can serve as a blessing. There's probably nothing more efficient and reliable than Artificial Intelligence and machine learning in this aspect.

Considering a situation where a health professional clicks on a suspect link, AI comes into the picture in no time and protects from threats like malware, viruses, ransomware, malicious websites and a lot more.

Some steps that healthcare organizations can take in order to deal with cyberattacks and to mitigate the risk could be by putting restrictions on the installed software applications, increase vigilance especially in the areas pertaining to IoT (Internet of Things) devices, home peripherals, etc. This is because a lot of appointments are virtual (from home) as a result of the pandemic. All this is, no doubt, important but what is equally worth paying attention to is educating the stakeholders. They should know every minute detail with regards to the security of the sector and how can they aid in dealing with the same. With all of this in place, the day when the healthcare sector would boast about its cyber-security is definitely not far away.

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