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Major banks and art galleries aren’t the only ones who have to worry about robberies — smaller businesses and stores are also the victims of theft, and the same holds true in the healthcare industry. In recent years, digital thieves from the dark web and beyond have shifted their attention to third-party vendors, specialized clinics, and outpatient facilities to steal patient records and other valuable health information. 

To learn more about the importance of cyber security in healthcare settings, let’s take a look at why more third-party vendors have become victims.

A Look at Healthcare Hacking Statistics

Given how data hacking has increased considerably over the years, cyber security in healthcare is more important than ever before. Since 2018, breaches have doubled — in particular, cyber hacks have actually tripled. Roughly 43% of the systems targeted by these attacks weren’t major healthcare providers themselves but smaller organizations they’re affiliated with.

A wide range of business associates have been the victims of cyber criminals, including communications firms, claims adjusters, and many more you wouldn’t have otherwise anticipated. For example, pharmacies and other healthcare suppliers comprised 14% of the hacks that took place in early 2022. Physician groups are also under attack — in only a year, they increased from 2% of the hacks to 12%. Given the diverse assortment of targets, all third-party vendors ought to consider cyber security in healthcare for their own safety.

During the widespread data hacks, countless patients have lost their sensitive information. In one Florida dermatology center alone, a cyber attack affected around 57,000 individuals. These virtual assaults have also cost healthcare facilities significant financial damage in their attempts to address data breaches.

Why Have Third-Party Vendors Become Targets?

Wouldn’t it make more sense for hackers to target larger healthcare organizations with more patient data? That’s a fair question, but unfortunately, there’s a very good reason why small business associates have become such prime real estate for hackers — they lack cybersecurity in their healthcare information systems. Although family clinics and similar organizations take care of sensitive patient information, their data defenses aren’t on the same level as major providers, making them more vulnerable to attacks.

There are several reasons why business associates have less security in healthcare industries, including smaller budgets and fewer staff. Hackers have identified these weak points and are capitalizing on them to pull off more successful data heists. They use electronic medical records and similar healthcare technologies to steal as much sensitive data as they can for ransom. Their maliciousness has led them to target facilities in the United States, Ireland, and all over the world.

Never Let Your Guard Down When It Comes to Hackers

In response to these increased attacks, government agencies have recommended that organizations devise detailed defensive strategies to protect themselves. These include instructions for managing devices, airtight policy control, and much more. Additionally, major healthcare providers need to remember that even if their system is secure, the associates they work with might not be. 

If you’re looking for ways to increase security in a healthcare organization, reach out to MedTrainer. Our easy-to-use software can help you devise and implement a risk management plan and get your entire team up to date on the process. We also offer secure cloud-based storage to safeguard healthcare information in a convenient and easy-to-access system. From incident reporting to healthcare compliance tools, MedTrainer’s all-in-one software can help your organization in more ways than one!