Reasons why Healthcare IT Infrastructure is a Prime Target of Cybercriminals

IT Infrastructure

Malicious attackers are on the prowl to identify vulnerabilities; in the healthcare IT infrastructure to infiltrate the network and steal sensitive information.

Since the surge of the recent Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a tremendous paradigm shift in every business aspect. Businesses today have a complex IT infrastructure that they need to secure. Cybercriminals are looking out for vulnerabilities in organizations to accomplish a full-blown cyber-attack on the business network.

Malicious actors are primarily targeting the healthcare industry to infiltrate their IT infrastructure and steal sensitive information.

According to a recent report by Statista, the largest health care data breach in the U.S impacted nearly 78.8 million individuals. The report also highlights that an average cost of a healthcare data breach is approximately USD 9.23 million.

The numbers are quite alarming, and with the governing bodies implementing stringent laws to protect the privacy of patients, it becomes crucial to have advanced security measures to prevent the tech stack. Even a small data breach can lead to a negative brand image and might have legal implications. CISOs should consider integrating robust tools and security postures to prevent healthcare IT infrastructure from various healthcare data breaches.

Here are a few reasons why malicious actors are exploiting the tech stacks of healthcare organizations:

Embracing digital healthcare

In recent years, there has been a tremendous amount of evolution in healthcare workflows. Medical practitioners are embracing digital tools into their workflows to improve efficiency and medical care. Most giant healthcare corporations have transformed their physical data collection processes into digital ones. Digital health records are one of the most effective ways to keep the data updated, accurate and accessible. But keeping a digital record of the entire healthcare organization might expose it to various cyber threats and data breach risks. Embracing digital healthcare processes made medical practitioners a major target of cyber attackers.

Health care data is expensive in the underground forums

Cybercriminals are looking out for sensitive data that can be sold at a good price. Every healthcare institute has valuable information about the patient, which needs to be secured to maintain privacy. As the healthcare industry holds sensitive information of the patients like Social security numbers, banking details, and other vital information, it makes it a valuable asset in the black market. Malicious actors exploit the healthcare IT infrastructure to steal such sensitive data and sell it off in the underground forums for a higher price. This is one of the biggest reasons that attracted cyber criminals to the healthcare industry.

Legacy tools in healthcare IT infrastructure

Many healthcare institutes still operate on legacy tools to accomplish their daily operational goals. Even though there is a tremendous amount of revolution in the healthcare technology industry, medical care providers struggle to keep pace with the evolution. Legacy healthcare IT infrastructure makes it an easy target for cybercriminals to infiltrate the system and steal all the sensitive data. Healthcare CISOs can consider modernizing their tech stack with secure tools to protect critical data from being stolen.

Also Read: Three Strategies for Organizations to Follow to Disrupt Cybercriminals Selling Access to Their Environment

Unsecured medical devices lure attackers

Another significant reason attackers are infiltrating healthcare IT infrastructure is because many medical devices offer the easiest entry points to the entire business network. Medical devices lack security parameters, which exposes them to various risks and threats that cybercriminals can leverage. These medical devices act as an entry point that hackers can use to enter the business network and connect to critical servers. With such increased attack surface areas in healthcare IT infrastructure, makes a susceptible target to various cyber threats.

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