October 06, 2017
2 min read

Cybersecurity awareness month helps bring attention to vulnerabilities in health care

You've successfully added to your alerts. You will receive an email when new content is published.

Click Here to Manage Email Alerts

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact customerservice@slackinc.com.

More than 200 data breaches have been reported at hospitals across the United States during the last 7 years, highlighting the increasing frequency of cybersecurity attacks nationwide.

“Broad access to health information, essential for hospitals’ quality improvement efforts and research and education needs, inevitably increases risks for data breaches and makes ‘zero breach’ an extremely challenging objective,” Ge Bai, PhD, CPA, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, and colleagues wrote in a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, co-founded by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance in 2004, is an annual campaign held each October to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and to urge the public and industry to be vigilant when it comes to technology – including medical data and devices.

In conjunction with these efforts, Healio.com has compiled several articles to help address the growing concern surrounding cyberattacks, why medical institutions are at risk, and how physicians can better prepare their practices to ward off any potential hacks.

Why health care remains a target to cyberattacks

Zuly Gonzalez, co-founder and CEO of Light Point Security, discusses why health care institutions are becoming more popular targets for hackers and what information cyberattacks are targeting. Gonzalez previously spent more than a decade as a cybersecurity expert at the National Security Agency. Read more.

Cybersecurity should be a research priority for hospitals

Between October 2009 and December 2016, 1,798 data breaches were reported. Among them, 1,225 breaches were reported by health care providers and the remainder were reported by business associates, health plans, or health care clearing houses. Read more.

5 things physicians should consider to help protect data

Health care organizations need to treat security as a priority and increase their security budgets so that they can implement proper security measures and defenses. Read more.

FDA green-lights firmware update to address cybersecurity concerns for pacemakers

The FDA announced an approved firmware update for pacemakers manufactured by Abbott to address potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Read more.

Concern grows over cybersecurity for diabetes devices

Diabetes devices have shifted toward the “internet of things,” an environment in which common objects are designed to communicate with the internet, as well as with each other. Although this type of seamless transmission of information provides obvious convenience and effectiveness, it also leaves areas of vulnerability. Read more.

Cybersecurity concerns prompt discussion on implantable cardiac devices

Recent concerns have been raised about cybersecurity issues with implantable cardiac devices with remote monitoring capabilities. Clinicians who treat patients with these devices must be alert for potential vulnerabilities, but should also provide patients with reassurance that the odds of a breach are very low, and the benefits of the devices outweigh the risks. Read more.