Cyberattacks can result in terrible situations for healthcare groups and their patients. Cybersecurity for healthcare is beneficial, but also essential. Not only is the organization at risk for system outages after a major attack or infection, but it will likely face financial and criminal penalties under current HIPAA regulations.
The financial burden of data breaches can be significant. Anthem had to pay the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights a record $16 million for HIPAA violations. It also settled a class-action lawsuit in 2018 for $115 million after its 2015 data breach affected nearly 79 million individuals. But hospitals must also contend with damage to their patient reputation as a result of cyberattacks. Healthcare organizations are always looking to grow their patient coverage and increase the number of patients, so any data breach will drive patients away from the provider, resulting in loss of business and revenue.
Traditional security tools no longer cut it
The use of traditional security tools like antivirus and antimalware are no longer effective on their own in the face of these modern cyberattacks. New infections can evade antivirus tools by simply changing their signatures and posing as executables that do not match any existing and known value signature. Fortunately for healthcare groups, newer and more sophisticated protection tools can help detect malicious code and hacking activities by analyzing the behaviors of the different applications and network activities in order to detect any abnormalities like mass file encryptions or brute-force attacks against servers.
Organizations today require newer and more powerful cybersecurity for healthcare tools to counter the bigger and more damaging threats that they face. Not to mention, the more confidence that IT admins have in their security safeguards, the more likely they will be to further adopt connected technologies that they may otherwise view as too risky. IoT devices and other medical devices have been a major source of security concern for healthcare executives, but with a better security scorecard, health groups may be more apt to adopt these technologies for patients.
AI in healthcare cybersecurity tools
Most of the modern cybersecurity tools contain AI functionality, which helps to analyze large volumes of data and detect subtle abnormalities. In the IT world, abnormalities in the network could be early indicators of a hacking attempt, a spreading infection or even a rogue device malfunctioning.
AI-based phishing detection is a great testament to how new cybersecurity tools can provide concrete benefits to organizations in comparison to the traditional platforms. Phishing scams have become one of the biggest threats to email users across health organizations, and standard methods of blocking and detection are no longer effective in pinpointing these tricky emails that can appear almost identical to the real thing. New AI-based tools can also analyze the email links as well as the sender's address, comparing them to historical data in order to intelligently flag the email message if it is determined to be a phishing email.
AI use has expanded to other areas within cybersecurity. Some additional uses include email filtering, event log monitoring, computer activity monitoring and network traffic analysis. With the help of AI, cybersecurity tools are making headway in combating some of the biggest threats that the healthcare sector faces as well as streamlining the number of security products that hospitals had to manage in the past.
Editor's note: With extensive research into the cybersecurity market, TechTarget editors have focused this series of articles on vendors with considerable market presence that offer a CEM security platform targeted for healthcare organizations. Our research included Gartner, Forrester Research and TechTarget surveys.
Despite the rising number of reported breaches, there are a number of ways for healthcare providers to mitigate their risks of falling victim, with more advanced security and protection tools across the entire network, as well as end user security awareness and training. Healthcare cybersecurity tools can usher in better security scorecards, lower risks of data breaches and higher patient confidence levels if buyers have the necessary knowledge to make the right decision for their organization.