Cyber risks to healthcare

Issue 1 2022 Healthcare (Industry)

Medicine has always been a field where innovations play a crucial and truly life-saving role. However, during the pandemic, the healthcare industry was forced to significantly speed up the implementation of new developments. Indeed, this pace of change and urgent digitalisation within medical organisations was noted by 81% of executives in a recent Accenture report. To determine whether this mass transition to telehealth is keeping pace with security measures, Kaspersky conducted a global survey of healthcare providers.

The research found that organisations globally widely use medical equipment with a legacy operating systems (OS), mainly because of high upgrade costs, compatibility issues, or a lack of internal knowledge on how to upgrade, among other reasons.

The usage of outdated equipment may lead to cyber incidents. When software developers stop supporting a system, they also halt the release of any updates, which among other improvements, often contain security patches for discovered vulnerabilities. If left unpatched, these can become easy and accessible to penetrate the company’s infrastructure, even for unskilled attackers. Healthcare organisations collect a wealth of sensitive and valuable data, making them one of the most lucrative targets and unpatched devices can facilitate a successful attack for adversaries.

When it comes to cybersecurity readiness, 50% of healthcare workers are very confident that their organisation can effectively stop all security attacks or breaches at the perimeter. While 50% expressed conviction that their organisation has up-to-date, adequate hardware and software IT security protection.

At the same time, 30% of South African respondents agreed that their organisation had already experienced data leaks, DDoS or ransomware attacks.

“The healthcare sector is evolving to meet the demand for accessible help by actively adopting connected devices. But this also adds unique cybersecurity challenges typical to the embedded systems. Our report confirms that many organisations still use medical devices that run on old OS and face obstacles that hamper upgrades. While there is a need for developing a strategy of modernisation, there are also solutions and measures available which can help to minimise the risks in the meantime. Those combined with medical staff awareness can significantly raise the security level and pave the way for the future development of the healthcare industry,” comments Sergey Martsynkyan, VP, corporate product marketing at Kaspersky.

More insights on the current state of the healthcare industry are available at*kas4

Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

First telemedicine platform for South Africa
Guardian Eye Healthcare (Industry) AI & Data Analytics
South African employees often struggle to receive timely, affordable, and accessible healthcare. The challenge for many healthcare initiatives within organisations is the melting pot of cultures.

Healthcare and the edge
Technews Publishing Healthcare (Industry)
With the proliferation of IoT devices in healthcare, more data is generated which drives the need to distribute it efficiently and keep it closer to the user.

The cybersecurity consolidation conundrum
Editor's Choice Information Security Healthcare (Industry)
Check Point discusses why less is sometimes more when it comes to securing your organisation from the innumerable cyberattacks happening every day.

Home care and assisted living
Salto Systems Africa Healthcare (Industry)
SALTO prevents unauthorised access, while saving residents – who may have mobility issues – from having to open their door since physical keys are replaced with contactless smart fobs, PIN codes or smartphone access.

Touchless healthcare
ZKTeco Healthcare (Industry)
With confidential data and potentially dangerous drugs and medical equipment, it can be more of a challenge for the healthcare sector to keep their premises safe than in other industries.

Data compliance for healthcare
Healthcare (Industry)
All healthcare facilities including hospitals and clinics are required to manage the complete destruction of all data when IT assets reach end-of-life using compliant data erasure techniques essential to protect company data.

Future of healthcare must be built on security
Healthcare (Industry)
IoMT, IoT, wearables to revolutionise health and potentially expose patients to new threats, say Doros Hadjizenonos and Matthew Taljaard.

Improving patient care
Axis Communications SA Surveillance Healthcare (Industry)
Nemours Children’s Health System has installed Axis network video cameras in every patient room to improve patient care to avoid nuisance alarms.

Access control during a health crisis
Axis Communications SA Healthcare (Industry)
Preventing the transmission of coronavirus in healthcare settings is obviously critical. Paul Baratta discusses access control and how it can help healthcare providers today and well into the future.

IoT is playing an increasing role in monitoring behaviour
Guardian Eye Healthcare (Industry)
With 55% of respondents in a recent survey stating that they cannot afford to save towards retirement and living in a care facility, attention must turn to leveraging cost-effective and user-friendly technological innovations to unlock the potential for telecare.