3 min read

HIMSS Report Reveals Top 3 Healthcare Cybersecurity Concerns

Featured Image

Almost one third of healthcare organizations either don’t know or can’t identify how much they spend on cybersecurity. Of those that do know, the majority are budgeting three percent or more of their budget to preventing cyber-attacks. Nearly half of the organizations don’t have Chief Information Security Officers (CISO) and two out of three lack a formal Insider Threat training program. Those are just a few of the revelations coming from the recently released 2017 HIMSS Cybersecurity Survey.[1]

One thing is certain. The threat of cybercrime continues to grow and healthcareAdobeStock_134646899-125721-edited.jpeg organizations are increasingly targeted because of the value of patient information. To combat these threats, organizations must continue to focus on strengthening their cybersecurity defenses.

The survey identified three top concerns of those responding:

Patient Safety

Patient safety issues that revolve around harm and serious injury involving medical device security is a major concern. Cyber-attacks on life-sustaining or life-saving devices can have especially devastating outcomes. Organizations point to specific patient threats like hacked insulin pumps that could deliver a fatal bolus of insulin or a connected pacemaker that can fatally shock a patient.

For proper safeguards, consider acquiring services that segment and zealously protect these devices from horizontal or vertical attacks from other areas of the network.

Data Breach

Attackers breaking through an organization’s firewall and hacking into patient information systems continues to be a top concern of healthcare leaders. Successful attacks can not only compromise a patient’s personal data, but breaches can also be expensive and disruptive.

Deploying the right Data Loss Prevention (DLP) tools such as McAfee Host and Network DLP, Digital Guardian, Varonis and the point features in many other security products can be an effective line of defense against these threats.

Spread of Malware

Malware infection is now a growing concern for those surveyed. Unpatched/unsupported software and operating systems are ripe targets for cyber criminals looking to compromise a healthcare organization’s system. The survey notes that “flat” networks are particularly vulnerable since a malware infection can potentially spread to every system in those networks.

To protect against malware, consider implementing documented patch management with solutions like SCCM and Automics and install anti-malware software from trusted vendors like McAfee, Cylance, and Symantec. There is also a wide range of malware protection software for web and email protection you could consider.

As a leader in healthcare system security, DynTek provides a variety of services and solutions to address these serious threats. We are partners with the leading companies that provide cyber security software so we are able to help you select the best solution for your specific situation. We also offer services such as CISO-as-a-Service and Insider Threat training programs if you are not able to build these critical resources into your operational budget.

To learn more about DynTek’s centralized, efficient, and effective risk mitigation solutions, click here.


[1] 2017 HIMSS Cybersecurity Survey, HIMSS North America