Top 5 Security Threats in Healthcare

Top 5 Security Threats in Healthcare

With the current Coronavirus pandemic at bay, it can be easy for those in the healthcare industry to focus directly on maintaining proper health and hygiene practices. However, the security of your healthcare facility could always be at risk.

Are you curious to know what the biggest healthcare security threats are? Is your medical facility currently at risk of falling susceptible to any of these threats? In the content below, we discuss the top five security threats in healthcare today.

Healthcare Security Threat #1: Mobile Data Theft

According to the Radware 2018-2019 Global Application and Network Security report, approximately 39 percent of healthcare organizations are impacted daily or weekly by hackers.  As current technological advancements allow both medical professionals and patients to access confidential medical data online, health and wellness security programs and procedures need to adapt accordingly. Furthermore, when a healthcare facility fails to protect mobile data, they can be easily susceptible to mobile data theft.

Especially when considering the current COVID-19 outbreak causing businesses and medical facilities to transition as much of their operations online, more information is now available for hackers to retrieve. Therefore, it is imperative that facilities in which doctors, nurses, and hospital staff utilize tablets and mobile devices for patient care implement effective security measures and data encryption software.

However, Network access control (NAC) solutions offer a smart resolution that keeps health data as secure as possible, regardless of where the devices are located or where the data is accessed. NAC identifies each type of user and device and then scans for threats or out-of-date spyware protection. As a result, this helps maintain security of other devices and equipment in which so many devices are inter-connected.

Healthcare Security Threat #2: Unrestricted Access to Computers

In the past two years, 89 percent of healthcare organizations experienced data breaches. In a digital era where paperwork, programs, and procedures are completed online, your medical facility can easily fall susceptible to data breaches if not properly secured.

One simple security threat in a healthcare facility is if your facility computers fail to restrict access. When computers have no restrictions and are displayed in open environments or unattended, they can easily be accessible by unauthorized personnel. Additionally, successful phishing attempts on general-access computers provide a gateway for hackers into more sensitive areas of the network. Therefore, create an effective safeguard for any computer that holds patient information is placed in a secure location.

Healthcare Security Threat #3: Insider Misuse

In 2018, Verizon’s annual Data Breach Investigations report highlighted that 81 percent of the data breaches reported derived from miscellaneous errors, web applications, and privilege misuse. The term privilege misuse, or insider misuse, refers to any occurrence in which current employees either steal property or data, or commit other forms of crime. While one can hope that their employees have the morale to refrain from stealing equipment or data from their medical facility, it is important to be aware of the potential threat.

Although most medical facility employees will not abuse their employment for theft, it is surprising how many individuals get jobs in the industry for the sole purpose of infiltrating the system and gaining access to patient health information. Typically, the most common desire is to steal information and gain access to money or commit tax fraud.

To prevent insider misuse, organizations will audit all devices used by staff members. Furthermore, healthcare providers must be vigilant in heavily monitoring both authorization and access to patient information, and audits can be a reliable way to see and document who has accessed what information and when.

Healthcare Security Threat #4: Vendor and Supply Chain Breaches

Commonly overlooked, supply chains and vendors can also be a threat to the security of a healthcare facility. From transactions with vendors to pharmaceutical shipments, each vendor a hospital interacts with presents a potential for a breach. Therefore, supply chains must be checked at every step.

Fortunately, within the last two years, legislation has been passed that will majorly impact future supply chain security, including the FDA Safety and Innovation Act (2012), Unique Device Identification (UDI) (2013) rules, and the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (2013).

Healthcare Security Threat #5: Inadequate Disposal of Old Hardware

After deleting sensitive information from your laptop or disc drive, one could easily believe that the threat of unauthorized access to that data is now dissolved. However, when users improperly dispose of hard drives, old terminals, or any other hardware that accesses a network with EHRs or credentials, that information is still susceptible to theft.

Furthermore, even long after drives and data are successfully deleted or reformatted, hackers can still rescue the encrypted information. Therefore, your deleted information still poses a threat of theft. To properly secure your old hardware and the data it holds, be sure to dispose of it properly to guarantee that the sensitive information or programming does not fall into the wrong hands.

A Solution for Healthcare Security

Regardless of what facility you need security and safety improvements for, you can always find or make a solution. At School Safety Solution, our mission is to empower you with the right materials that provide efficient protection in emergencies. We provide security systems including lockdown shades, door locks, and other safety products for schools, non-profit organizations, office buildings, and medical facilities.

To best care for patients, it is equally paramount that medical facilities also pay special attention preventing the spread of viruses or illnesses while maintaining a safe and secure environment. Therefore, as a way to help our healthcare professionals during a time of health and hygienic considerations throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, we launched our new product: isolation gowns!

If you are interested in discovering the best ways to protect your medical facility, request a quote or get in touch today at (888) 733-0406. We look forward to walking beside your school, business, or facility in safety.