Biggest Tech Challenges Facing Healthcare IT Professionals
As a healthcare IT professional, you have likely experienced many tech challenges throughout your career. Your successful navigation of such challenges has helped you to better prepare for future events.
This new decade has started with some of the same threats, such as ransomware and HIPAA compliance, but more insidious dangers await that include a troubling new method of attack. All should be taken seriously.
The head of Juniper Threat Labs at Juniper Network, Mounir Hahad, stated that ransomware will continue to pose a threat to healthcare systems now and in the future. As a rule, saving lives always takes precedence over cyber security simply because clinicians and support staff’s primary responsibilities are centered around patient care.
Ransomware is a major cyber security threat to healthcare tech, because it launches a two-pronged attack by exploiting both technological and human weaknesses. Therefore, healthcare IT professionals have to be prepared by developing multi-angle defensive strategies.
It is your responsibility to ensure that all systems are kept up to date. Every potential entry point must be covered with the most up-to-date security software, firmware, firewalls, and operating systems. Coverage points include email, endpoint devices, and the network environment.
Internet-connected medical devices are also vulnerable. As more diagnostic equipment and patient devices are online collecting patient data, uploading it to the cloud or some other centralized location, and receiving feedback, they can be breached.
Many of the IoT tools lack data protocols, including regulation of data ownership. Data is captured and transmitted in real time. All of these circumstances are a hacker’s dream. Protected health information of both patients and clinicians are at risk.
The increasing popularity of bringing your own device has certainly had its benefits, but it also introduces its own risks. Using your own device has really taken off in healthcare, which puts you on the defensive side of the line of scrimmage. You can’t cross that line until the ball is snapped, and you don’t know the play they are running. Similarly, your lack of control of BYOD tools and applications are like that football, and future challenges are determined after the play.
These challenges can be met, however. It starts with network and security monitoring to provide visibility of your network’s infrastructure. This will give you an understanding of the data being monitored so that you can assess your risks and secure your network.