The “Ripple Effect” Cyber Threats Pose to Medium and Large Healthcare Organizations

The healthcare industry has embraced innovative, digital solutions to enhance patient care, streamline operations, and improve overall efficiency. However, with this digital transformation comes the escalating threat of cyberattacks with devastating impact.

Data breaches and ransomware have become an epidemic at healthcare organizations because patient health information is highly sensitive and valuable on the Dark Web. Medium and large healthcare organizations are particularly vulnerable due to the vast amounts of patient data typically stored across a larger network of facilities.

The facts impacting the Health Industry are startling:

  • On average 58 cyberattacks monthly
  • On average $9.23 million is cost of a data breach
  • Already in 2023 over 71 million patients sensitive medical information has been breached
  • Each medical record can fetch $1000 on the Dark Web
  • Ransom payments demanded are frequently over $1M

For medium and large healthcare organizations, a key risk is the “ripple effect” from a cyberattack.

A notable example is the major cyberattack targeting Scripps Health – this incident sheds light on the interconnected nature of healthcare networks, emphasizing the potential ripple effects of a single breach. Not only was Scripps Healthcare impacted adversely for several weeks, ambulances had to be diverted to other nearby hospitals for urgent care. It was reported over 600 patients were diverted to emergency rooms, where patients such as those suffering strokes had to be cared for immediately, creating significant stress to the local healthcare community network.

A cyberattack on one hospital can have far-reaching consequences, disrupting the broader network of medical providers and compromising patient care across multiple facilities. This interconnectedness underscores the urgency for healthcare organizations to prioritize robust cybersecurity measures.

This CBS News article delves into another cyberattack against Prospect Medical Holdings of Los Angeles.

The attack on Prospect Medical not only compromised sensitive patient data at the facility in Los Angeles, but also disrupted essential healthcare services in rest of California and in Pennsylvania due to the interconnected network. Multiple hospitals were shut down and ambulances were diverted in the network, impacting patient care drastically.

The Role of HICP Compliance:

This is why the HHS, with the support of DHS and CISA, issued the new Health Industry Cybersecurity Practices (HICP) to prescribe cybersecurity controls for all healthcare organizations to implement in order to mitigate cyber risk.

HICP provides a framework for healthcare organizations to enhance their cybersecurity posture. Compliance with HICP guidelines is crucial for mitigating risks, protecting patient data, and ensuring the continuity of healthcare services.

For medium and large organizations (over 10 physicians or over 51 beds hospital), 72 cybersecurity controls should be implemented at a minimum to operate safely.

HICP is a comprehensive approach to securing healthcare infrastructure from cyber threats. It encompasses strategies, practices, and technologies aimed at safeguarding electronic health records, medical devices, and the overall IT infrastructure within healthcare organizations.

The recent cyberattacks on healthcare organizations underscore the urgency for medium and large healthcare organizations to prioritize HICP compliance. The interconnected nature of healthcare networks and the potential consequences of a breach demand a proactive and comprehensive approach to cybersecurity.

By adhering to HICP guidelines, healthcare organizations can fortify their defenses, protect patient data, and ensure the uninterrupted delivery of critical healthcare services in an increasingly digital and interconnected world.

HICP compliance does not need to be costly, stressful or complicated. With CyberCatch, you can attain full compliance in 2 weeks or less and stay safe continuously.

CyberCatch’s innovative Healthcare Compliance Manager solution enables all healthcare organizations to cost-effectively comply with the HICP.

CyberCatch’s solution comprises of:

  • Workflow engine for compliance risk assessment
  • All prescribed controls organized by domains
  • Compliance tips
  • AI-advisor for detailed guidance and to answer any questions
  • Policy and procedure templates
  • Charts, reports and evidence repository

With CyberCatch, you can quickly complete the compliance assessment accurately and document attainment of compliance and attain cyber safety.

Check out a quick DEMO.

Cyber safety is patient safety.

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