Cybersecurity: Protecting Healthcare From an Infectious Threat of Another Kind

lradick February 21, 2018
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It can spread faster than the flu. Put patients at risk and shut down entire healthcare organizations in a matter of hours. Full recovery could take weeks, if not longer, and cost millions.

Pandemic outbreak? No—a breach in cybersecurity.

At ACHE’s upcoming Congress on Healthcare Leadership, you will have the opportunity to attend the highly recommended Hot Topic Session, Cybersecurity—Do You Have the Right Approach? In this valuable session, industry leaders Russell P. Branzell, Karl West and Mac McMillan will provide attendees with an inside look at just how critical cybersecurity is to healthcare today.

An Ever-Changing Electronic Landscape

 In 2009, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act set aside $27 billion for a federal incentive program to encourage healthcare providers to shift to EHRs. Many hospitals have become paperless. However, “EHRs offer many benefits, but they also are vulnerable to hacking and other cybercrimes. Likewise, the ability to connect digitally through these technologies has tremendous benefit, but it also potentially offers a pathway for infiltrating multiple systems,” states Branzell.

Changing technology also has created other infiltration pathways that might surprise you. Smart TVs open the door to eavesdropping and observation. Entire data centers can be breached through an unprotected heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, and unprotected closed-circuit TV cameras can be used for spying and launching a “brute force distributed denial of service attack against the network they are connected to,” states McMillan. Even printers are at risk. He adds, “Printers produce nearly 30 percent of breaches involving 500 plus records, and are often not secured.”

Cyber Awareness Is Key

With the dramatic changes to technology and patient information processing in the last decade, cybersecurity must be an educational priority across an entire healthcare organization. “Every click of the mouse is an opportunity for a cybercriminal. Good cyber hygiene should be practiced by every healthcare employee. Cybercriminals don’t care if the point of entry is a physician or a clerk or a technician. They just need one naïve employee,” shares Branzell.

To hear more about cybersecurity, critical updates and realistic risk-based solutions, be sure to register for this timely and important session.

Register now for Congress!

Category: Q&A, Thought Leadership
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