Top 10 Threats to Healthcare Security
Healthcare security guard companies are a very broad topic, and it covers a wide variety of potential threats. In 2009 the Department of Health and Human Services issued a document about US healthcare security standards. In this article, we will analyze the Top 10 Threats to Healthcare Security according to that list.
Before we delve into the Top 10 Threats to Healthcare Security, it is important to note that a threat in this instance implies a risk. A risk is the mathematical likelihood of a threat being successfully executed against an asset and can vary with time and geographical location.
1) Medical Device Hacks
Most medical devices have a computer chip that controls the device and is connected to a network. An attacker who is able to breach the network can cause the device to malfunction or destroy it completely. Many manufacturers are now taking steps to harden devices against "hacking," but there is still much work that needs to be done in this area.
2) Insider Threats
For various reasons, people have access to hospitals that should not be there. For example, contractors who are not authorized to enter the premises should not be allowed entry under any circumstances. Additionally, employees should never share their login information with anyone for any reason whatsoever because if they do, it creates an opportunity for someone else to find out about the device, what it does and how to exploit it.
3) Mobile Devices
Some devices such as mobile phones and tablets are not allowed in the healthcare environment because they pose a threat to all devices on the network. If an unauthorized mobile device is detected, security guard companies should be notified immediately so it can be removed from the premises.
4) Mismanaged Endpoints
All medical equipment, including all computers and mobile devices, have to have security software installed on them. If the endpoint is not managed by a healthcare IT department or under the supervision of a third-party service provider, it should be removed from the network until it can be secured properly.
5) Workforce Threats
In healthcare facilities, all employees are required to obtain a security guard company clearance, but that does not mean that they have been properly vetted. Anyone who has access to the hospital environment should be carefully screened and monitored for any suspicious activity. In addition, everyone from doctors and nurses to custodians must be educated about how to spot an attacker.
This is one of the most serious threats to healthcare security because it can cause delays in patient care, which can be life-threatening. Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts all the networked devices in an organization and demands money in return for providing access to them. Some ransomware attacks last several days, causing damage not only to data but also to medical equipment.
7) Social Engineering
If an attacker is able to acquire personal information about employees, it can create opportunities that might not otherwise exist. For example, if an attacker knows the name of the employee's spouse or children, they may try to contact them and pretend they are someone who needs assistance. Even something as simple as knowing the person's birth date might be enough information for an attacker to acquire a passport.
8) Data Threats
Because medical data is so valuable, attackers will do whatever they can to steal it. In order to thwart attempts at data theft, strong access controls should be put in place, and all connections should use secure protocols. When possible, storage systems should be implemented in locations that are not connected to the internet.
9) Unsecured Medical Records
Because of their value, medical records should be carefully protected at all times. Unfortunately, many healthcare facilities still do not put strong enough security measures in place to protect the data they contain, which makes it easy for attackers to steal them and sell them on the black market.
10) Legacy Systems
Many hospitals and other healthcare facilities still use equipment that is more than a decade old, which makes them easy targets for attackers who know how to exploit their vulnerabilities. Outsourcing medical equipment support can be very expensive for hospitals, and in some cases, it may not be financially viable, so they have to come up with a plan to replace old equipment if they want to protect themselves from threats.