August 4, 2022

Cyber Security Challenges & Issues in Healthcare

Healthcare organizations have many challenges ahead of them to keep pace with the rapid changes in today's digital world. The average cost of a breach in the healthcare industry has reached record highs, and the risk of cyber-attacks is growing daily.

According to a recent report by IBM, the average cost of a data breach for a healthcare organization is a staggering 10 million dollars.

Vulnerable networks, growing reliance on electronic records, and a proliferation of mobile devices make the healthcare industry more exposed than ever before. In fact, as of July 31st, 2022, 899 reported breaches of Unsecured Protected Health Information (PHI) were under investigation by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services.

But not only do healthcare organizations face these challenges, but they're also operating under strict regulations that demand more than just keeping their doors locked at night.

That's why selling cyber security solutions to hospitals, and other healthcare facilities has never been as crucial as it is now.

This blog post will explore some of the key cybersecurity threats facing the healthcare industry, types of coverage, and how to get started selling.

What Are The Top Areas of Vulnerability Within Healthcare Organizations?

Healthcare organizations are one of the most vulnerable industries to cyber attacks due to both sensitive patient data that must be protected and the rise of internet-connected devices.

From medical devices like insulin pumps, wearables, and imaging devices to other Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as ventilation systems, air-conditioning systems, smart elevators, remote monitoring systems, and many more, cyber security can be a matter of life and death in some situations.

According to U.S Health and Human Services, here are some of the top vulnerability points in healthcare facilities:

  • Networks- A hospital IT network includes all the computers and devices that are used to store, process, and share data and information within a hospital. This includes everything from the computers in the hospital office to the machines in the operating room.
  • Records Disposal- Records contain sensitive patient information that could be used for identity theft or other malicious purposes.
  • Remote Work- The COVID-19 pandemic forced many hospitals to make major changes to how they operate. One of the most significant changes has been the shift to remote work for many employees. When more people are working remotely, there are more potential entry points for a hacker to exploit.
  • Internet of Things-The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the interconnectedness of physical devices and devices with the internet. This means that devices like heart monitors, X-rays, and even pacemakers are all connected and can be controlled remotely.
  • Data Storage- Data in hospitals is often stored in centralized databases and are very complex. This means that if one database is compromised, all the data stored in that database is at risk.
  • Personal Devices- When hospital staff uses their personal devices at work, they can inadvertently introduce Malware and other security threats into the hospital network.

What Are the Top Cybersecurity Threats for Healthcare Organizations?

  • Ransomware: This type of malicious software encrypts a victim's files and demands a ransom payment in order to decrypt them, and they have doubled in the last two years. A ransomware attack can potentially disrupt the entire operation of a hospital, and in some cases, it can put a patient's safety and life at risk.
  • Phishing: One of the most common cyber attacks in healthcare is phishing. Which involves cyber criminals sending fake emails or texts that look like they're from a hospital or health insurance company. These messages can trick people into clicking on links or attachments that install Malware or steal login credentials.
  • Insider threats: Insider threats are defined as "the potential for fraud, theft, or other malicious activity by employees or other insiders with legitimate access to an organization's facilities, information, or systems. In other words, they're the people who have a badge and are supposed to be there but may be up to no good.
  • Malware: It's a type of software that is designed to damage or disable computer systems. It can come from viruses, Trojan horses, spyware, or adware. If a hospital's system is infected with Malware, its data may be corrupted or stolen, and the hospital's operations may be disrupted. Patients’ safety may even be compromised.
  • Social engineering: These types of attacks involve threat actors who can use deception to trick hospital employees into revealing confidential information or granting them access to systems.

What Type of Insurance Do Healthcare Organizations Need for Cybersecurity?

There's no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the type of insurance healthcare organizations need for cybersecurity will vary depending on the size and scope of the organization, as well as the type of data they collect and store.

However, there are a few general categories of insurance that healthcare organizations should consider when cybersecurity is a concern.

The first is first-party insurance, which can help cover the costs of responding to a data breach, including notifying affected individuals, offering credit monitoring services, and more.

Another type of insurance to consider is third-party or cyber liability insurance, which can help cover the costs of litigation if their organization is sued for things like privacy violations or data breaches.

How Can You Sell Cyber Insurance to Healthcare Organizations?

There are plenty of reasons why healthcare organizations should invest in cybersecurity, but sometimes it can be hard to get the message across. After all, many of these organizations are already stretched thin when it comes to resources. So how can you sell them on the importance of cybersecurity?

Here are a few tips:

  1. Talk about the problems that healthcare organizations face when it comes to cybersecurity.
  2. Explain how cyberattacks can jeopardize patient safety.
  3. Highlight the high financial cost of data breaches.
  4. Share case studies of other healthcare organizations hit by cyberattacks.
  5. Offer solutions that can help healthcare organizations reduce their risk of being attacked, like cybersecurity through 1Fort.

By following these tips, you should be able to make a strong case for why healthcare organizations need to invest in cybersecurity.

Get Started Selling Cyber Insurance to a Healthcare Industry Client

As you can see, the healthcare industry is a prime target for cyberattacks. As a broker, you can play a crucial role in getting healthcare organizations to invest in cyber security. Giving them the peace of mind that comes with knowing their data is secure and they are protected in the event of a cyber attack.

At 1Fort, we offer an all-in-one solution that includes cyber-security and cyber insurance policies from A+ carriers at an affordable price. By partnering with us, you can feel confident knowing you have the resources and support to help your clients mitigate their risk while you close deals and earn incredible commissions.

Get in touch today!