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Report Highlights Cybercrime Issues in Healthcare

Report Highlights Cybercrime Issues in Healthcare

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Healthcare industry getting hit hard by cybercrime

The pattern of the healthcare industry being increasingly hit by cyber attacks is likely to continue, according to a recent report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

A study from PwC’s Health Research Institute called attention to the rise in security breaches in the industry. As a result, cybersecurity must be a focus for all institutions in healthcare, PwC urged.

“By 2020, Internet-connected healthcare products are expected to be worth an estimated $285 billion in economic value. But connectivity comes with a price—vulnerability to hackers and criminals.” — PwC's Top health industry issues of 2016

Cybersecurity concerns come to medical technology

More specifically, issues with the cybersecurity of medical devices have become a major issue. Without preemptive action on connected medical equipment, PwC said that cyber attacks could “cripple” the industry. Preemptive action usually refers to active maintenance of device security — patches, software updates, etc.

Conversations about guarding against hacked medical devices consistently turn up the same term: segmentation. That is, medical devices should be segmented apart from other devices on s shared network. This segmentation can work to maintain a layer of separation between devices, and, ultimately, boost cybersecurity.

Consumer concerns

Users of medical devices consistently state concerns about potential hacking of devices. A compromised medical device can mean life or death for some users. These concerns about cyber attacks on medical devices could also directly impact the bottom line of companies in the healthcare industry.

According to PwC, 50 percent of survey respondents said they would “think twice about using any connected device” after a hacking incident. Additionally, 51 percent would “think twice about using that manufacturer’s devices.” The worries extend all the way to the hospital, as well. About 38 percent would “be wary of using hospitals associated with the hacked devices” following an attack.

An estimated 85 percent of large health organizations experienced a data breach in 2014, so concerns for the future are far from unfounded.

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