Network security in medical space: is it actually important?

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An article on the The Age last February has raised some serious concerns over network security in the health care sector. A crime syndicate systematically hacked into more than 15,000 patient files through cyber breaches in Cabrini Hospital. They demanded a hefty sum of ransom from the hospital to give back their access to them.

Commonwealth security agencies have started a joined investigation to identify the reasons behind the breach as well as the individuals who are responsible for this. But the main question is, what does this breach mean for the future of cyber security in the medical space?

In this era when almost every service or facility, including the healthcare industry, depends heavily on digitalization and networking features, it is very important to give enough focus on cyber security. Back in 2017, multiple breaches occurred in healthcare facilities, affecting 70,000 devices and what made it much worse was additional hospital technology like blood refrigerators and MRI scanners being affected as well.

These recent and past incidents give two very important messages. First, healthcare facilities are in the risk of disclosing sensitive patient information. It is a principle duty of all the healthcare facilities to secure the information given by their patients.

Secondly, when such high-tech devices and instruments that are responsible for saving people’s lives are being compromised, the facility in question is also compromising their ability to serve the patients.

So what is the solution?

The best defence is a good offence. This is particularly true in cybersecurity, where the average cost of a security breach in Australia is more than US$100 per compromised data item, according to a 2017 Ponemon study.

Considering how many data items can be at risk in the event of a breach, this could rack up quite a hefty bill. A managed backup solution which is encrypted and stored at multiple locations, combined with a proper firewall is the bare minimum. In this day and age it is not a matter of if you will get hit, it is a matter of when.

At Envisage our team is dedicated to providing the highest level of security and protection for our clients. Even if your system does get compromised, a quick recovery and adequate planning can avoid damage to your practice and your reputation.

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