It's no secret that the healthcare industry is currently plagued by cyber threats. Ransomware is on the rise, data breaches are prevalent and stolen medical records are a hot-ticket item on the digital black market.
The risks are real and the consequences are chilling. But that doesn't mean healthcare providers are taking things sitting down - no way! Industry leaders are protecting their networks and patients by fighting against cybercrime.
Below are a handful of creative approaches to healthcare cybersecurity being employed by companies right now. Read through these ideas and get inspired to combat digital threats in your own way.
Bring on the Bots
Arguably the greatest threat to healthcare cybersecurity is human error. Despite our best efforts, people still click on phishing emails, inadvertently download malware programs and occasionally leave important files defenseless. Even highly dedicated human IT teams can sometimes overlook cyber threats due to the fact that they cannot observe the whole network 24/7/365.
To overcome these challenges, some healthcare providers are leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) solutions that work with human IT teams to flag suspicious activity. For example, AI could alert an internal security team about numerous failed login attempts or when an external IP address is poking through your medical records.
So, go ahead and embrace the bot revolution. Your organization's safety could depend on it.
Embracing the Blockchain
Perhaps you've heard of the term 'blockchain' and wondered what it was all about. The first distributed blockchain was implemented by bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto as a public ledger of all transactions. This turned out to be there perfect method for tracking financial transactions and eliminating fraud without a centralized banking service.
Here's a rough illustration of how a blockchain works: Let's say Maulik works in an office of five people. Each person has a wallet with an undisclosed sum of money in it. When Maulik gets up to use the restroom, he leaves his billfold on the desk. Another employee picks it up and steals the money before Maulik returns. Who stole the money? And how does Maulik prove he had money in the first place?
Blockchains avoid this problem by requiring all users to record their transactions in a public ledger. To use the same example: Maulik arrives to work and records that he has $10 in his wallet on a public ledger, of which each of his coworkers keeps a copy. When Jamie steals Maulik's money, she records a new entry saying that she has $20 and Maulik has zero. Of course, Maulik's record disagrees with Jamie's as does everyone else's. According to the public record, Maulik still has $10 and Jamie still has $10 despite the intended fraud. This is an example of democratic accuracy overcoming malicious intent.
The same thing can be done for healthcare records. Blockchain can increase interoperability and collaboration between teams without transactional inefficacies. In other words, blockchain makes it easier to share data in a safe and speedy manner without the added risks of repeatedly transferring files over unsecure channels, such as email. In this way, healthcare providers can see who accesses files and limit hacker intrusion.
The Cyber Safety Net
Another way healthcare organizations are combatting cyber threats is by anticipating the inevitability of an attack or data breach. If cyber threats really are unavoidable, then the best thing you can do for your organization and your patients is to invest in a cybersecurity insurance policy from a reputable provider.
For instance, first-party cyber coverage mitigates immediate response costs associated with things like extortion, ransom, business interruption and theft. Third-party cyber coverage, on the other hand, covers legal fees from patients and clients.
Learn more about cyber insurance for healthcare by visiting CyberPolicy today!