The bring your own device (BYOD) practice in healthcare and other markets has snowballed in recent years. Healthcare administrators have noticed improved productivity, efficiency, and workflow when medical staff uses personal devices to connect to the main network and access medical data. But this convenience comes at a cost. Providers don’t exercise control over employees’ personal devices, meaning they can’t always enforce top-quality security. As many as 30% of organizations don’t use anti- malware software protection for BYOD. Personal devices from employees can easily contain sensitive data like protected health information (PHI). Without any safeguards, BYOD can quickly develop into healthcare’s most prominent security problem. And this was before COVID-19 drastically changed the workforce.
How has the pandemic affected BYOD?More than ever, employees are working remotely. This has opened up a whole new world of security risks. Some examples include:
- Employees using devices and networks that aren’t necessarily secure enough for your organization’s standards.
- Your IT updated your system to accommodate remote employees’ growth but left behind security risks that cybercriminals can exploit.
- Employees have no training in email phishing attacks which leaves the organization vulnerable to hackers.
SEE MORE: Cybersecurity Challenges of Remote Working Cybercriminals are taking advantage of the vulnerabilities the pandemic has created. In fact, there was a 50% increase in the daily average of ransomware attacks in Q3 2020 compared to the first half of the year. That adds up to a new ransomware attack every 10 seconds. And the attacks are especially prevalent in the healthcare industry. In recent months, some providers have had to shut down IT systems due to successful hacks—one provider had to shut off its network for weeks . Another ransomware incident in Germany was tied to a patient’s death . There is no indication that BYOD was the source of these attacks, but it does speak to the intense effort that hackers are taking to get into your security system. It’s vital not to leave a vulnerability open for them to use against you. SEE MORE: INTERPOL Warns of Increased Attacks on Hospitals