The Healthcare Industry is Falling Behind on Data Protection

The results of a recent Vanson Bourne Global Data Protection Index study may shock some in the healthcare industry: Only 10 percent of organizations doing business on the Web are “ahead of the curve” on data maturity and security readiness, according to the report’s criteria. Indeed, online safety and security is everyone’s concern these days, but especially so for those in the healthcare industry, or for those whose personal, private medical data is being stored electronically by a healthcare organization. That pretty much includes all of us, if you count all of those in the Business Associate category along with healthcare facilities, hospitals, or other organizations per se. HIPAA compliance is a term which is on the minds of anyone doing business within or with healthcare organizations electronically. Every day it seems there’s a news story about a healthcare company that has incurred some sort of data breach, and which will likely face the possibility of HIPAA fines as a result.

Healthcare Computers

So, what’s the answer to this trend of cyberattacks, compliance violations, and a surprising lack of cybersecurity preparedness? To us, it seems obvious: More and better data network and cybersecurity controls.

Healthcare and Cybercrime

But, in this fast-paced world where companies of all sizes are struggling to keep up with the rapid-fire changes in technology and the threats to those who utilize it – it can be a dizzying phenomenon at best. At worst, your healthcare facility (whether you work there, or your PHI data is stored there) may likely become the victim of a cybercrime or data breach of some type. In fact, the statistics show that, with security readiness so low, and cyberattack likelihood so high for healthcare facilities – the chances unfortunately favor the cybercriminals, not the healthcare providers at this stage of the game.

Compliance and Non-Compliance

It’s important for healthcare facility department heads to understand that it’s better to be in compliance with HIPAA regulations and general cyber defense readiness than it is to be in compliance with hackers who lock down your data network with ransomware or some other type of malware or attack. But, if your facility, company, organization, etc. does incur a data breach or cyberattack that involves ransomware demands, don’t comply with the cybercriminals and hand over outrageous amounts of money for them to unlock your files. This has only encouraged their bad behavior, causing more cyberattacks, and will end up costing you twice: In ransomware payout, and in potential HIPAA fines or settlements. There is another way out of a cyberattack jam.

Becoming Cyber Secure

Instead of just complying with cybercriminals and giving over to their demands to pay a ransom to unlock your data files, it’s best to call in experienced IT experts who know the latest methods of ridding your computers of ransomware and releasing your data network back to you. A good IT services team will also provide your organization with the adequate cybersecurity and data recovery package you’ll need. Cybercriminals feed on ignorance and unpreparedness. Protect yourself with knowledge and security and keep the hackers at bay.