Why is healthcare a prime target for cyberattacks?

Why is healthcare a prime target for cyberattacks?

The healthcare industry is vital to society, but unfortunately, there are many people hell-bent on attacking it. For many years, cybercriminals have used everything, from malware attacks to online scams, to steal information directly from healthcare institutions. Today, nothing’s changed. Cyberattacks involving healthcare continue to grab the headlines despite the availability of cutting-edge security software. So why do hackers continue to target these organizations?

Patient records are worth a fortune

Hospital, clinics, and other healthcare organizations store a treasure trove of patient records that contain contact details, insurance information, health data, and financial details. Just one of these records can fetch more than $1,000 on the black market, which is why hackers often execute large-scale attacks to steal as many records as they can.

Most hackers are always looking to make a quick buck.

Even if a cybercriminal doesn’t intend to auction off medical records, there are still a lot of things they can do with them. They can make false insurance claims, order and resell prescription drugs, and even defraud other people. These records are so valuable that many healthcare institutions have succumbed to ransomware demands just to recover them.

Medical devices are easy to hack

Hackers also like to target healthcare because it’s riddled with vulnerabilities. Medical devices like heart monitors and morphine pumps, for instance, typically aren’t designed with security in mind. And even though these devices don’t store patient data, they provide easy entry points into the organization’s network. The most evil cybercriminals can also use these unsecured medical devices and cause fatal “accidents.”

Healthcare staff aren’t trained in cybersecurity

Cybersecurity usually takes a back seat when healthcare staff are focused on caring for and treating patients. As a result, staff can be unintentionally reckless when browsing the web or checking emails. Knowing this, hackers attack healthcare organizations with a slew of online scams.

Also, like most people in the world, healthcare staff are guilty of the worst offenses in password management (i.e., recycling short, easy-to-guess passwords across different accounts), making them easy targets of brute-force attacks. The best way to resolve this is to proactively train staff to be more conscious of cyber risks.

“Win a free iPhone? Hah, I’m not falling for that...again.”

Too many devices connected to the network

There are plenty of computing devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets, and desktops) that also connect to a hospital or clinic’s network, and if one is compromised, it can expose an organization to a boatload of cyberattacks. Securing these devices isn’t so straightforward either, which often leads to poorly implemented security measures.

That’s why companies need a centrally managed platform that allows administrators to monitor network activity, distribute software patches, and set access restrictions depending on the device. This will greatly reduce the risk of compromised devices and other security hiccups.

Even if your company isn’t in the healthcare sector, it’s crucial to have an impenetrable security system and vigilant employees. Red Key Solutions can help any New York-based businesses get both. Not only do we provide cutting-edge security software, but we also give companies practical advice on how to minimize the risk of cyberattacks. Call us today!