By Praveen Kannan and Anna Strokolyst The Hotspot Shield team believes the internet should be open and secure …
The healthcare industry treats millions upon millions of patients each year. This huge number of cases means equally massive amounts of patient information to deal with. Couple that with poor online infrastructure, and the consequence is an enormous cybersecurity problem that the healthcare industry is unable to handle.
The cybersecurity of the healthcare industry is under threat right now, and here are four reasons why.
There are budgetary constraints when it comes to cybersecurity.
A major reason why the healthcare industry has such poor cybersecurity is because only a limited amount of financial resources is spent on infrastructure improvement. Pay a visit to a local hospital or clinic and it’s highly likely that you’ll see staff using computers, keyboards, and other hardware that are five years old or older.
Top of the line MRI machines cost upwards of $1 million, CAT scan machines are priced at almost $3 million, and mammogram machines run at an average of $500,000. Medical equipment is expensive, and it’s where a large chunk a healthcare provider’s budget goes.
Healthcare is big business for criminals.
Almost all professionals working in healthcare, from administrative secretaries, to nurses, to resident doctors, are poorly—if at all—trained on basic cybersecurity measures. Why? Because of the common perception that it is a responsibility that should be shouldered by the IT department. It isn’t.
If a doctor forgot to lock their office door at the end of the day and left their computer still on, there’s nothing IT can do to stop an individual from going into that room and using the computer to access patient information.
Everyone in healthcare, not just the IT department, is responsible for ensuring the security of all information.
There is a lack of cybersecurity training.
Wherever you are in the world, there will always be cybercriminals lurking around. When you’re on foreign soil, a VPN is your best friend so make sure you install it on all your devices.
A VPN encrypts your data to secure your information and make you anonymous when you go online. With a high-quality VPN, hackers won’t be able to detect your presence and access your information.
Certain facilities are at a disadvantage.
Smaller hospitals and clinics usually can’t afford to have state-of-the-art medical equipment, so it stands to reason that they also can’t afford to spend money on cybersecurity. Investing in cybersecurity infrastructure is often not a priority for these facilities because they have other, bigger problems.
Even if a small healthcare provider had the budget for cybersecurity technology, they would not have the money to hire people to monitor and implement this technology.
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