Cybersecurity tips for CIOs and CISOs dealing with the widely dispersed data of healthcare

The healthcare industry has a unique position with relation to cybersecurity. It is the only industry that provides services with the intent to avoid major repeat clients and visits. It focuses on maintenance to avoid major health issues and prefers a sustainment model to a person’s health verses dealing with an emergency.

While the latter is fundamental to critical care, regular check-ups, preventative care and other low-risk interventions always are preferred. In essence, healthcare is trying to provide a routine verses dealing with crisis events.

Data here, there and everywhere

When one considers this model for an individual’s healthcare, the data used for sustainment and check-ups is not centrally located. It can be located in a general practitioner’s office, specialist’s care, insurance company or hospital – to name a few.

In addition, financial information regarding coverage and payments is intermixed with all this information, adding a level of sensitivity to the data being stored.

Finally, technology has played a massive role in healthcare. This includes everything from diagnostic equipment to medical devices embedded in living tissue to provide critical care through routine check-ups. This equipment suffers from similar flaws to servers, workstations and IoT devices deployed in any organization. They can be hacked and compromised just like any other computer, causing a potential disruption to their basic operations and potentially lead to a life-threatening situation.

 Prepare for next-gen cybersecurity threats and join the #HITsecurity discussion at the HIMSS Healthcare Security Forum this Dec. 9-10 in Boston.

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