It can be difficult for the average person to imagine why hackers do the things they do. But if you consider their goals, it can be easy to understand why they so frequently target the healthcare industry. Healthcare providers store massive quantities of sensitive data on their patients, so it’s no wonder cyber criminals have their eyes on those databases.

Aside from motivation, plenty of opportunity exists. Advancements in medical technology are a good thing, of course, but there is a down side. All of those “smart” devices, connected to networks in order to share patient information, can act as potential entryways to bad actors. For the eleventh straight year, IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report found that healthcare organizations suffered the highest dollar amount of losses due to data breaches. Damages totaled $9.23 million this year.

So, how do hackers get into devices and networks within the healthcare industry? They employ a variety of methods, much as they do with any other organization, such as phishing, malware, Internet of Things attacks, and ransomware. And of course, the occasional bad actor on the inside, such as a disgruntled employee, is responsible as well.

The good news is that knowing they are valuable targets can inspire healthcare organization leaders to take extra care in implementing a cybersecurity strategy. As with any other business, each level of the organization and every possible entry point must be protected. That means the typical network protections such as a firewall, but also a more stringent plan to cover every single device connected to that network. For healthcare organization, the Internet of Things is more important than perhaps anywhere else; that also means the IoT presents a larger challenge.

And finally, education of employees is key. Yes, even highly educated doctors can accidentally click on the wrong link in an email! Never assume that anyone  is well versed in cybersecurity. Absolutely every individual using that network must learn protocol.

About that protocol: Give us a call at 888-RING-MY-TECH and we will help you establish a secure system and implement a plan to prevent attacks before they happen.