Are you equipped to deliver the healthcare of the future? In our new blog series, we explore key areas of consideration to help you make the decisions that will improve the lives of patients, doctors, and nurses.
Advancements in technology have the potential to drive better outcomes for patients. But the implementation of patient-centered technologies must be accompanied by strong security measures. Without these measures in place, patient care can worsen instead of improving. A single cyber-attack can put your patients and reputation at risk.
Healthcare networks are vulnerable to malware attacks, manipulation and theft of operational data, and unauthorized network access. Failing to address these vulnerabilities leaves the door wide open to hackers, viruses, human error, and even disgruntled employees causing potential harm to your networks and equipment.
The consequences of poor network security
If your networks are compromised, there are many damaging consequences. Access to healthcare networks can be a lucrative business for hackers, for example. Medical records are extremely valuable on the black market. In fact, they can be 10-times, even 60-times more costly than stolen credit cards, according to an investigation by MSNBC*. And let’s not forget about the fines and liability from litigation your organization could face if confidential medical records are compromised.
Furthermore, when security breaches result in network downtime, patient care suffers with immediate effect. The 2017 WannaCry ransomware attack in the UK, for example, led to 19,000 cancelled appointments across dozens of hospitals**. The National Health Service (NHS) lost a total of £92 million through services lost during the attack and IT costs in the aftermath***.
Secure every connected device
As expected, the attack surface is growing with the increase of BYOD initiatives and more medical equipment being connected to the network. Millions of devices and applications, known as the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), are collecting, storing, and transmitting sensitive patient data on your networks. Scanners, defibrillators, and pacemakers pose the same potential security risks as laptops, tablets, and phones, meaning you must secure them all, and the networks they connect to. The WannaCry attack affected more than 1,000 pieces of diagnostic equipment, including MRI scanners and blood test analysis devices***.
Even pacemakers can become targets due to poor encryption and authentication practices. Earlier this year, The U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned that hackers can easily gain access to pacemakers made by the world’s largest medical device company, Medtronic****.
In order to address the vulnerability of your healthcare security you need to consider both your end-to-end physical infrastructure and your network security.
Secure your network infrastructure, secure your business
Physical security is easy to overlook when IT departments look at information security, however, the sensitivity of patient medical records and potential disruption to care means it’s absolutely vital for the healthcare industry. What’s more, it is often the easiest and best place to start, forming a first line of defense against malicious activity.
Any healthcare provider with patient data in their possession should invest in a consistent, scalable, enterprise-wide security solution that continually safeguards your networks – all the way down to the infrastructure level. Similar to a locked door, Panduit’s solution encourages hackers to move on and look for an easier target elsewhere.
Panduit continuously works to develop solutions that align the physical infrastructure to logical network systems. Security issues are addressed by deployment of keyed systems to help manage security at the physical layer. These systems control user access and mitigate the risk of unauthorized connections.
To discover more about how ‘Generation Data’ is shaping the future of healthcare IT, download our new eBook.