How to Get Rid of Healthcare Cyber-attacks in 2022

Bineesh Mathew | November 12, 2021

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The healthcare industry focuses on providing the best service to each patient leveraging the latest technology. Hospitals use the latest technologies to improve patient care and treatment. However, as they constantly commit themselves to the services, they get no time or opportunities to educate themselves about cyber threats.

This makes room for healthcare cyber-attacks to happen quickly. In addition, cyber threat actors and criminals are looking to exploit these vulnerabilities. Apart from breach of privacy and financial loss, healthcare cyber-attacks may put lives at risk due to patient data loss. Thus, due to the nature of the functionalities in the sector, cybersecurity in healthcare is at stake, making room for more necessary measures before it gets critical.

Healthcare Cyber-attacks

By the end of 2020, cyber-attacks in healthcare had increased by 45 percent, which is twice the size occurring in the other sectors. This is due to implementing the latest technologies to overcome the hurdles brought by the pandemic in the healthcare industry.

Reasons Why Attackers Target Hospitals

There are many reasons why cybercriminals target hospitals. Some of them can be:

  • Selling patient data gets the attackers a lot of money
  • Attackers can quickly enter into medical devices
  • Staff in hospitals are not well educated on cyber threats
  • Vulnerabilities increase as the number of devices used in hospitals are high
  • Most of the hospitals have outdated technologies that increase the vulnerabilities

Healthcare Cyberattacks across the U.S.

The total number of healthcare breaches in 2019 in the U.S. was 386, and in 2020, it was 599 resulting in an increase of 55.1%. However, breaches due to hacking and IT incidents stood at 67.3%.Healthcare cyber-attacks were the main reason for the theft of the personal information of patients. In 2020 alone, around 26 million patient records reached unauthorized hands. Out of this, 24.1 million incidents were due to healthcare cyber-attacks.

Ways to Getting Rid of Healthcare Cyber-attacks in 2022

We have learned how the healthcare sector is more prone to cyber-attacks and why criminals target hospitals more than other sectors. Understanding this, you have to take immediate and necessary actions to mitigate the cyber threats.

Outlined are the following actions and measures to reduce healthcare cyber-attacks.

Solid Healthcare Cybersecurity Policy

In the healthcare sector, all hospitals should have a solid cybersecurity policy. Healthcare data can be compromised anytime and anywhere. A solid healthcare cybersecurity policy with effective measures is worth a ton for healthcare organizations. Moreover, it can easily prevent healthcare cyber-attacks largely.

Your healthcare cybersecurity policy can include the measures such as a policy regarding password, two-factor authentication, testing, detection program, third party policy, cybersecurity awareness programs for employees, and much more.

Automation and Monitoring

Even in small hospitals, there are countless devices and endpoints. This makes it hard for employees to maintain the security level adequately. Thus, professionals suggest automation and monitoring tools with the latest technologies, including IoT, AI, and machine learning. These specialized tools will help the security teams detect the healthcare cybersecurity threat early and mitigate it quickly. Furthermore, potential security breaches can be isolated through this constant monitoring with the help of automation and monitoring tools.

"Cyber teams should be in a constant state of monitoring and proactively looking for issues within their network and systems and be quick to respond. System updates and patching are always critical and all cybersecurity programs should include a very detailed and robust security awareness program as nearly all cyberattacks are initially carried out through a single user's action,"

Dave Summittt, CISO of Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla

Leverage Industry Best Cybersecurity Practices

In recent times, the healthcare industry has felt the blow for data theft and security breaches. This alarming fact points towards the need to strengthen cybersecurity in a healthcare organization. As part of strengthening cybersecurity and reducing healthcare cyber-attacks, the healthcare organization should leverage the industry's best cybersecurity practices.

The best cybersecurity practices advised by cyber security professionals are setting up a firewall, backing up data regularly, controlling electronic health information processes, following good computer habits, controlling network access, installing system anti-virus, and having a well-documented bring your device (BYOD). Practicing these aspects will make your organization free from many possible healthcare cyber-attacks.

Educate Employees

One of the main reasons for the increased number of healthcare cyber-attacks is that the staff is unaware of cyber threats. Therefore, it is high time for hospitals to educate their staff on cyber threats to get themselves away from risks.

All the staff must have a basic understanding of proper cybersecurity protocols. Hospitals should conduct phishing awareness training at work and teach their staff how to respond to dubious activities, such as suspicious e-mails, fraud, and phishing attacks. The access to hospital systems must be limited to credentialed staff members, only helping the hospital avoid unnecessary complications and breaches. The staff also should make sure the medical terminals are inactive when not in use.

Summing up

Cybercriminals find more opportunities to practice their unlawful activities in the healthcare industry than in any other industry. This is because the hospital employees are not aware of the security threats when they do their daily duties. Often, they do not have enough time to look into these masters as they do their best for their patients.

New technologies used in the healthcare sector to tackle the pandemic also challenge hospitals to maintain healthcare cybersecurity. The countless number of devices used in the hospitals is another reason for it. However, effective policies with adequate measures and educating the employees regarding the potential breaches will mitigate the breaches and safeguard the hospitals by reducing healthcare cyber-attacks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do cybercriminals target more on the healthcare industry than other industries?

One of the main reasons hospitals become the targets of malicious online activities is that the industry has many sensitive data, including patient data. Unfortunately, the healthcare industry usually does not have a solid system to prevent breaches.

What are the consequences of a healthcare data breach?

Healthcare data breaches affect the lives of patients. They are likely to mistrust the system and may withhold the information. Both financial and medical identity theft can happen in a healthcare data breach.


Namtek Corp.

Namtek Corp. is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business with corporate headquarters in Bedford, New Hampshire. Founded in 2006, Namtek Corp. provides Governance, Risk Management and Compliance Solutions to the Public and Private Sectors. Our company is one of New Hampshire's fastest growing small businesses, supplying a broad range of IT technical manpower services and products, to support our ever growing systems solutions business. We are a prime contractor to the United States Marine Corps, Department of the Army, Department of the Navy and the Department of State.


Effective Cybersecurity Marketing Strategy to Standout from the Crowd

Article | November 9, 2021

Cyber-attacks have become more sophisticated and advanced as the rise in connectivity brought an increase in security gaps. Better connectivity also has led attackers make to create advanced tools making their attacks more sophisticated. This certainly makes businesses invest more in information security to bridge the gaps. However, most businesses and organizations do not realize the need for it. This is due to the absence of threat awareness among the customers. A major challenge that cybersecurity service providers face is around cybersecurity marketing. Another challenge they face is competition. Businesses do not prioritize cybersecurity as an essential aspect, so marketing security solutions become even more challenging. However, the cybersecurity product market has grown over the years, especially during this pandemic period. Although the market is growing, it needs a sound cybersecurity marketing strategy to reach actual prospects. The strategy should also aim to educate the prospects on its need, as many do not realize its necessity today. Let us look into some of the tips for making a sound cybersecurity marketing strategy. Cybersecurity Marketing Strategy Especially during this period of the pandemic, cybersecurity solutions and services are facing much competition. Thus, you should have a properly and professionally designed cybersecurity marketing strategy to stand out from the crowd and reach out to top prospects. As remote workplaces are necessary during this pandemic period, security breaches are also happening like ever before. This has made companies and individuals look for solid cybersecurity solutions and services. However, as the competition is high, your success in reaching out to these companies in time depends upon the unique cybersecurity marketingstrategy you set up. Below are some tips to make your cybersecurity marketing strategy appealing and robust enough to attract more clients. Know your Audience Regarding cybersecurity marketing, understanding your audience is crucial. It is considered the first step towards creating a compelling marketing strategy. Creating marketing personas will make you understand your audience better. Personas give you a picture of your ideal customer, which is fictional. This will also give you practical insights towards which strategy and channels to be used while communicating with them. Even creating a persona of your ideal customer will provide insights about how to communicate with them. You also have to decide whom do you address in a particular company. Based on the roles, CTO, CEO, CISO, risk managers, CFO, you can make different personas. This is because all of these professionals in companies may be facing different challenges in their pace of work. Understanding them thoroughly will surely help you make a compelling cybersecurity marketing strategy. According to Matthew Fisch, a cybersecurity consultant, and SVP sales at Magnetude Consulting, “I’d follow up after in-person interactions with key executives by giving them my GDPR white paper, which they found very useful. Now they know me and trust that I know their pain points on this subject. That makes it a lot easier to let them know what my company does and how our products can help them.” Push them down the Funnel with E-mail Marketing For cybersecurity solution selling, awareness and knowledge are natural obstacles. This can make a potential lead take a good amount of time to make a decision, even demand a demo or meet a sales representative of your company. Therefore, your cybersecurity marketing strategy can make a difference by engaging them with your brand and taking them down to the sales funnel. The best way to do it is through e-mail marketing. Your email message should be personalized. However, the e-mails you send to your prospects should be attractive, informative, and educational. If they do not find your e-mails worthwhile, they may likely delete your emails and block you as they may have a lot of emails in their inbox every day. Therefore, you should be having a creative mind and a good idea of the types of content that can be sent via email to your prospect. Case studies, reports, and e-books are ideal content types that can educate people about present cybersecurity issues and its need today. Apart from these content forms, you can also focus on sending videos, which would educate them about the importance of cybersecurity. Whatever content yousend to your prospects as part of your cybersecurity marketing strategy, do not forget to link to your blog posts about recent attacks and the latest updates in the industry. You can also include attractive offers in your e-mail, such as free trials that quickly make the prospect sign up. Urge them to Make it a Priority As mentioned in the introduction, most customers do not find or are not aware of the urgency of cybersecurity. Thus, as a cybersecurity product and service provider, you should make the effort of creating a sense of emergency among your prospects as part of your cybersecurity marketing strategy. Furthermore, you should take it as a challenge to convince them to take it as a priority in this modern technology-driven world. There can be many reasons why they do not prioritize cybersecurity in their business process. First, it may be because they are giving importance to their core work. In addition, it can be due to complacency, or maybe they are not aware of the threat. Finally, the expense can be another reason that they do not prioritize cybersecurity. However, you have to focus on making your messaging right to them. Instead of scaring them with threatening messages, focus on educating them with ample examples from real life. Summing up The biggest challenge to cybersecurity marketing is that most prospects are not aware of the necessity of cybersecurity. This is because they are ignorant of the threat businesses are facing. Thus, the first step is to educate them about the urgency of it. Therefore, your cybersecurity marketing strategy should start with this first step. Apart from this, personalized messages to the decision-makers will help you go forward with your strategy. Sending messages to them continuously will educate them about its need and can push them down the sales funnel successfully. Frequently Asked Questions What is the prominent challenge cybersecurity marketers face today? There are a lot of challenges cybersecurity marketers face today. One of the main challenges is that most clients are not aware of the threat they will face in their business process online. Thus, educating them with the need and urgency of it is a significant challenge for marketers. 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Stopping Your Smartphone from Being a Cybersecurity Risk

Article | November 2, 2021

Let’s face it - most of our digital lives are on our phones, putting ourselves at a great deal of risk when it comes to cybersecurity. You would think that this would lead us to better phone safety habits, but this is not always the case. Many people, in a rush to get the latest new smartphone, might set themselves at risk leaving themselves open to cybersecurity threats with information left on their old phone. Don’t worry, there is hope - welcome to the phone repair economy. Let’s break it down by the numbers: in 2021, Americans are expected to spend $4 billion on phone repairs. That number seems like a lot until you consider that $59 billion will be spent on new phones. Despite the wide disparity, phone repairs are steadily increasing in popularity. A growing number of Americans are willing to get their phone fixed after it suffers small aesthetic damage. Moreover, Americans are slowing down in the purchase of new smartphones. In 2016, Americans upgraded their phones after 23 months of holding. In 2019, they waited 33 months to upgrade. High prices are delaying new purchases while changes in carrier contracts have made 2-year upgrade cycles a thing of the past. Because Americans are keeping their phones longer, they’re more likely to see their phone break in its lifetime. Phone damage is common. In the US, 2 smartphone screens are cracked every second. 72% of people have broken a smartphone before, and those who have previously broken a phone are twice as likely to do it again. But instead of rushing to replace a broken device, consider fixing it instead. Consumers typically spend less on repairs than they would on a replacement. They can keep all their files, settings, and habits without having to adjust to a new device. Important to the planet, extending a phone’s lifespan can reduce emissions and e-waste while saving energy and resources. Sustainability relies on consumers holding their products for longer amounts of time than they do currently. Other ways to extend a phone’s lifespan is to protect it from needing repairs in the first place. Use a shock absorbent phone case to protect the phone from drop damage. Slap on a screen protector to avoid the most common type of phone damage from impacting your device. Phone repairs have the chance to benefit all users. Stay safe from cybersecurity threats and keep your old smartphone running in optimal condition.

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Healthcare Sector Suffers From Increasing Number of Cybersecurity Attacks

Article | November 1, 2021

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Namtek Corp.

Namtek Corp. is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business with corporate headquarters in Bedford, New Hampshire. Founded in 2006, Namtek Corp. provides Governance, Risk Management and Compliance Solutions to the Public and Private Sectors. Our company is one of New Hampshire's fastest growing small businesses, supplying a broad range of IT technical manpower services and products, to support our ever growing systems solutions business. We are a prime contractor to the United States Marine Corps, Department of the Army, Department of the Navy and the Department of State.