At the rate technology advances at times it seems near impossible to keep up with potential security vulnerabilities. The Healthcare industry was ranked among the top 5 industries to be targeted by hackers in 2016.¹ This is not surprising when you consider the value and amount of information needed for the industry to properly function. Although HIPAA has a set of rules for electronic privacy and security they are often not enough.
A proactive approach is key when protecting sensitive information. According to IBM’s X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2017, near half of all attacks targeting the medical industry began with an inadvertent actor.¹ At no fault of their own, most employees are not educated about current information security trends and how to prevent them.
Although prevention will keep vulnerabilities to a minimum, there is always potential for human error. A majority of modern businesses rely greatly on the use of computers. In 2016 a hospital in Los Angeles was forced to work without computers for an entire week due to ransomware.² Had they not been able to adapt to the old ways of pen and paper human lives could have been lost.
With the added efficiency of computers, it is easy to rely on them for modern business. In the event of a breach, having a crisis plan prepared beforehand can greatly reduce response time. It can also ensure day to day operations run as smoothly as possible without their normal IT infrastructure.
Employees at all levels need to understand the risks, and be encouraged to work with security in mind at all times. Starting with understanding simple security risks, such as locking their computer when away from their workstation or using unknown storage devices on a work computer. In addition, anti-phishing and social engineering classes will lead to a knowledgeable employee that can work with prevention in mind.
¹ Alvarez, M., Bradly, N., Cobb, P., Craig, S., Iffert, R., Kessen, L., . . . S. (2017). IBM’s X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2017, The Year of the Mega Breach. IBM’s X-Force Threat Intelligence, 15-18. Retrieved September 9, 2017, from https://securityintelligence.com/media/ibm-x-force-threat-intelligence-index-2017/.
² Winton, R. (2016, February 18). Hollywood hospital pays $17,000 in bitcoin to hackers; FBI investigating. Http://www.latimes.com. Retrieved September 9, 2017, from http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-me-ln-hollywood-hospital-bitcoin-20160217-story.html