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The Cost of Cyber-Attacks in Healthcare

Cybersecurity is top of mind for IT professionals, especially those working in the healthcare industry. The costs associated with a cyber-attack, like ransomware, malware, and other viruses, has increased since 2017. According to a study performed by Ponemon, in 2018 the cost associated with a data breach for the healthcare industry has been $408 per patient record, up from $308 per patient record the previous year 

Two smiling doctors using laptop in front of medical team

When compared to other industries, healthcare ranks #1 for the highest costs associated with a cyberattack. Financial institutions rank second, but only lose $206 per customer in comparison to healthcare organizations. These are costs that can raise the price of care for patients and bankrupt healthcare organizations if the attack is large enough in magnitude.  

What are the Costs? 

There are numerous costs associated with cyber-attacks in addition to the figures mentioned above. Downtime, loss of reputation, network damage, data theft, loss of customers, and more add up to significantly paralyze and put healthcare organizations out business. Patients who’s healthcare data has been compromised or has a high threat of being compromised will likely switch healthcare providers. Amidst an attack, employee productivity declines as IT teams scramble to recover data and network systems.   

How to Prevent Cyber Attacks in Healthcare 

Healthcare organizations that have implemented an automated cybersecurity strategy have been able to save a staggering $1.5 million on the costs associated with a cyberattack, according to the same Ponemon study. Automated cybersecurity means deploying the tools and services needed to catch breaches in real time as they happen. But without cybersecurity expertise and the tools to catch the attacks, creating an automated strategy can be difficult. For this reason, healthcare organizations are turning to security as a service (SECaaS), an affordable information security model where a security service provider can equip your organization with best-of-breed security services like intrusion detection and prevention, firewalls, email security, network security, and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM). In addition, a dedicated Security Operations Center who oversees your network and all of these services on a 24x7x365 basis can help save healthcare organizations from crippling cyber attacks 

The Bottom Line 

When weighing the costs of a cyber-attack and SECaaS strategy, consider your current IT staff and infrastructure. Do you have IT security specialists, a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), and a wide array of security services that are monitored on a continuous basis? If not, SECaaS can help plug any holes in your current information security strategy to protect your organization against expensive cyber-attacks that are sure to increase in number in 2019. To improve the quality of care while also decreasing costs, turn to SECaaS to achieve those goals simultaneously.  

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Matthew Fall

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