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New survey reveals gap in cybersecurity implementation

New survey reveals gap in cybersecurity implementation

An April survey conducted by Salesforce shows that while most healthcare workers acknowledge the importance of data security, security protocols often aren't enforced. 


What happened

Salesforce's New Era of Data Stewardship in Healthcare surveyed 418 healthcare workers across the United States, with responses released in mid-April.

The survey showed that 76% of healthcare workers who deal with highly sensitive private information agreed that data safety is part of their responsibility. In the study group, 57% also agreed that their work had become more digitalized in the last 2 years alone.

Even though most workers believed that their environment was becoming more digitalized and that they have a responsibility to protect individuals' privacy, 22% of respondents said that security protocols were "not strictly enforced in their organization." Another 31% said they didn't know how to respond to a data breach. 

RelatedHow to handle accidental HIPAA email breaches? 


Why it matters

A study released by Check Point Research indicates increased hacker interest in healthcare organizations, which are frequently viewed as vulnerable to attack. Healthcare was one of the top 3 most attacked industries in 2022. In 2022, the report found that organizations suffered, on average, 1410 cyberattack attempts per week. 

The landscape continues to evolve, too, as AI technology has yet to fully reveal its implications for cybersecurity. 

RelatedA quick guide to using ChatGPT in a HIPAA compliant way

According to the Salesforce study, training on cybersecurity seems to be lagging too. Only 54% of respondents found their security training to be efficient, and 19% of respondents said their security training was irrelevant to their job.


Going deeper

Technology in healthcare is changing, with new tools frequently becoming available to workers. Only 39% of respondents said they check their security protocols before testing out new technology. And only 55% of respondents felt that their organization's security policies keep up with new tools and technologies. 

While it's challenging to keep up with evolving technology, it's still necessary. Using unfamiliar technology could result in data leaks or make it easier for hackers to infiltrate data systems. To remain HIPAA compliant, IT and healthcare workers alike must remain diligent in analyzing new technology and its security implications. 

Related: HIPAA Compliant Email: The Definitive Guide


Bottom line

Healthcare workers and the organizations they are part of must keep security protocols as a top priority. Sean Kennedy, VP and GM of Global Health Strategy and Solutions at Salesforce, says, "Healthcare workers play a critical part in keeping patient data safe. Organizations can empower their workforce by fostering a strong security-first culture that emphasizes the importance of security at all levels and enables them with secure digital tools."

After taking into account the Salesforce study, organizations should evaluate if their security protocols are keeping up with the latest technology and ensure that training and compliance standards are maintained for all workers.  

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