The pandemic pivot that seemed as if it would be temporary a few years ago, those behaviors that redirected how we work and live, is now a seemingly permanent modification. Remote work, telehealth, and the increasing use of products that are part of the IoT, or the internet of things, has provided us with increased opportunities as well as increased vulnerabilities.
Healthcare is a Target
This isn’t news to most people in the healthcare industry, but the increase in risk should be something that you are paying attention to. The combination of rising attacks with rising value in the data that healthcare companies own, is only making the bullseye bigger.
We dug into how the upcoming year might look when it comes to cybersecurity threats. While the focus is on healthcare, cybersecurity doesn’t discriminate, and any business or individual is always at risk. As the lines become more blurred between our home life and our work life, we need to ensure that our behaviors are aligned with protecting all aspects of our lives.
In 2021, we saw major players hit in a variety of industries. In fact, a recent publication called this the “golden age of ransomware”. Many healthcare organizations have already felt the impact of being hit by a ransomware attack, and there is no sign of slowdown. Does your team know what ransomware is and how it is deployed? Ransomware groups and their efforts are highly sophisticated and resolving an attack isn’t a one-and-done fix. Once ransomware is enacted on your system, you are locked out of your files, unless you meet the criminal’s demands and pay the ransom. But doing that isn’t a guarantee that you’ll get your information back, or that it won’t happen again. While nothing is foolproof, ongoing training for your team and learning how to offset the risk and avoid an attack is an effective method to reduce the risk of an attack.
Phishing and Social Engineering
We share so much about ourselves online. With limited in-person activity, this is not only an outlet to stay in touch with friends that are nearby, but also a way to keep connected with the people that we are unable to see with the limits on travel. Social engineering relies on learning about people and their interests, habits, and other defining qualities, to deceive and manipulate them. The goal? To get them to divulge their confidential and personal information, which is then used in a cyberattack. Have you seen or taken one of those online quizzes to determine which city you should live in? Your information is being collected and could be used against you at some point, in some way. Again, ongoing training and learning about how to recognize a phishing email will help your business to learn best practices and reduce the risk.
We shop online, get healthcare online, read online, and communicate with most of the people in our lives via our smartphones whether it is through text, phone calls, or email. Those online platforms and apps that we use are individual doors for cybercriminals to open. With each one, we have a username and password that can be targeted. Remember the big bad wolf? Make sure your doors and walls are secure and protect him from accessing your information. And always make sure that you are downloading an application that is safe to begin with!
If you aren’t familiar with this, it might sound too incredible to be true. Deepfake is a video of someone, where their face or body has been altered digitally. They appear to be someone else and will typically be spreading false or malicious information. You may have seen a meme or a video of public persons doing ridiculous things to one another and it seems impossible – well, perhaps it isn’t all that impossible, but very often it is a deepfake rendition of an act.
Strategy for 2022
Is your healthcare business including not just strategies for HIPAA compliance, but also a strong cybersecurity defense strategy? Unfortunately, being HIPAA compliant does not mean you’re safe from cybersecurity threats. Both areas must be addressed by all healthcare organizations to ensure the safety of patients and the organization. HIPAA Secure Now can help you with both components that are essential to the health and wellbeing of both! Have any questions? Contact us today!
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