Healthcare Cybersecurity: What Is Involved?

healthcare cybersecurity

As technology becomes more prevalent and integral in our daily lives, more industries continue to adopt cloud-based information and data storage methods. While more convenient, these methods of storing data challenge cybersecurity. 

Healthcare industries are particularly vulnerable to data theft. Thus, healthcare cybersecurity remains one of the most crucial considerations for doctors, hospitals, and healthcare providers. These organizations face some of the highest risks for essential information leaks, from medical records to patients’ personal information.

For any medical business, receiving help with cybersecurity and medical billing denials becomes one of the most important ways you can protect patient information. Maintaining strong healthcare cybersecurity also offers the best ways to protect your business’s reputation.

Why Hackers Target Healthcare Industries

Hackers and data thieves target healthcare industries as they offer promising data to resell at a high price on the black market.

Most companies store medical information in cloud-based software. Therefore, access to a patient’s electronic health record provides identity information like their social security number, address, and date of birth—prime targets for data theft. Ransomware attacks prioritize these records due to their importance and the likelihood that victims will pay the ransom.

The Financial Burden of Cybersecurity Risks

Beyond the personal risk of an information breach, serious financial consequences of data theft and poor cybersecurity can arise. With over 430 successful attacks a year targeting 500 or more individuals each time, these costs can quickly accumulate and prove burdensome for healthcare providers responsible for dealing with breaches. 

In 2021, the average cost of a healthcare data breach was over $9 million. Individual breaches can cost up to or more than $450, making this a significant financial threat for any healthcare business. Strengthening your healthcare cybersecurity is crucial to protect your business’s finances.

Other Negative Impacts of a Healthcare Data Breach

Beyond the significant financial threat of a healthcare cybersecurity attack, other significant consequences can result from these incidents. Since HIPAA protects patient information stolen during attacks, a data breach can incur additional financial or legal implications. These can significantly impact your healthcare business’s day-to-day operations and vitality.

You may also experience potential consequences with patient and client trust. When patients receive notification of a healthcare cybersecurity attack, they may decide to take their business elsewhere. Additionally, when ransomware attacks hold information hostage, it can threaten your ability to provide care. 

Ensuring you have solid and stable healthcare cybersecurity protects all your business interests.

How You Can Improve Healthcare Cybersecurity

Cyber thieves spend all their time figuring out new ways to steal your data. Therefore, taking steps to prevent attacks requires significant, concerted efforts.

Designate a position in your business beyond IT whose sole function includes protecting cybersecurity outcomes. Hiring third-party malware protection and cybersecurity firms may provide additional security measures to protect your business’s healthcare information. While these measures may require money and effort, their protection helps avoid more unfavorable outcomes.

Improve Medical Billing and Cybersecurity With PracticeForces

For more information about healthcare cybersecurity, reducing patient no-shows, and improving your medical billing, call (727) 499-0351 and work with PracticeForces today!

Parul Garg, CEO and co-founder of PracticeForces, has significantly contributed to the growth of over 1,000 U.S. medical practices through her expertise in medical billing and coding since the company’s inception in 2003. With a background in Computer Science and an MBA in Human Resources, her leadership and AAPC-certified coding skills have been pivotal in managing the company’s operations effectively.

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