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Patients Becoming More Affected By Healthcare Data Breaches

By September 14, 2023No Comments
Doctor showing chest x-ray on digital tablet to female patient, view from above

Things going through your head after your workplace was hit by a breach: 

How much Protected Health Information was accessed? Will I have to pay HIPAA penalties? How do I tell my patients? How many of my patients are affected by this data breach? What’s required of me right now, legally?

You weren’t prepared for this level of uncertainty. Even though there’s been a decrease in healthcare breaches, a concerning trend has emerged: a higher number of patients are affected per breach. It’s a bittersweet situation. 

Doctors are locked out of patient files and resort to handwritten notes. Equally challenging, is letting patients know they were affected by the breach. How do you give them a transparent and thoughtful approach to protecting their privacy and well-being? 

Identity theft is a serious crime, and it’s not the only crime committed by using someone else’s Protected Health Information (PHI). Hackers also use PHI to secure benefits, prescriptions, and insurance coverage.

You need to be ready to play offense and defense when it comes to the protection of your patient’s privacy. Security is not a static concept. It’s an ever-evolving strategy that needs preparation and response plans set in place.

The medical industry has been evolving for decades. Reluctancy costs healthcare more than just money.

It’s time for your security and playbooks to evolve, too.

Two indicators that more patients are targeted by cyber attacks

According to the Healthcare Data Breach Report:

Attacks don’t need to be the most sophisticated or a zero-day in order to succeed. 

Hackers are working to find and capitalize on out-of-date security practices in healthcare. And when one attack catches the attention of the security community, it’s even easier to blend into the background and exploit other avenues.

The best way to avoid such an attack is to implement a layered defense system, including physical security measures like employee training on how to identify and avoid phishing scams, social engineering attacks, and other types of threats.

Here’s what hackers don’t want you to know about patching

Unpatched systems and misconfigurations are leaving your PHI vulnerable to attack, leading to theft, encryption, patient impersonation, and even financial fraud.

Hackers want you to be slow to adapt. Old security practices and reluctance builds their ladder inside. They count on your inaction, because scheduling downtime for maintenance is overwhelming, or patching third-party tools is too much.

And if you don’t have the capacity for after-hours…

Will you have the capacity and hours when systems are down?

When should you secure your most important endpoints?

Do you know how many known vulnerabilities are out there? These bugs aren’t from obscure systems. Hundreds of vulnerabilities come from the most popular vendors with Google, followed by Microsoft, Adobe, IBM, Oracle, Jenkins, Apple, Tenda, Huawaie, Cisco, Linux, Siemens, Qualcomm, Intel, Apache, TotoLink, SAP, Dell, Bentley, and Samsung. 

Healthcare providers around the world rely on software and hardware from these vendors. With so many ways to get in, how long can your endpoints wait? 

You need a new way to protect patient data that’s more than just an extension of what you’ve always done before. 

A paradigm shift in how you find and prioritize the patches that keep criminals from exploiting out-of-date applications.

Syxsense Enterprise is cloud-based security with real-time monitoring and instant remediation for every single endpoint in your healthcare environment. The future of patching any device looks like flexible, staggered scheduling that causes as little disruption as possible.

Syxsense is more than just patch management—it’s a suite of security that Universal, Belkin, PBS, Netgear, IBM, Best Western, and others rely on. They knew that securing their most important endpoints was more important than ever, and they knew they couldn’t do it alone.

Do you have any questions about your patch and compliance requirements? We’re happy to talk about how you can stay up to date. Schedule a time to talk with us today