Ransomware and breaches! Updates from HIMSS 2017

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Ransomware and breaches! Updates from HIMSS 2017

Ransomware and breaches in healthcare has been prominent this year and shows no sign of slowing down.

Recently, I was privileged enough to be a part of the Paubox team to travel to HIMSS 2017 in Orlando. Part of my responsibilities at Paubox is to keep a pulse on cybersecurity in healthcare.

I decided to attend the Breaches and Ransomware seminar. The talk was hosted by Ron Mehring, CISO of Texas Health Resources and David Houlding, Director of Privacy and Security at Intel.

Since Paubox specializes in cybersecurity and HIPAA, the knowledge that I gained from this talk was insightful and valuable. The takeaways that I got are:

Room for Improvement

  • Healthcare is the perfect storm for breaches and ransomware due to data being more widely available, healthcare system being intolerant to disruption, health data being much more valuable, and the lagging of security.
  • Most healthcare organizations do not use cyber security as a differentiator
  • There is a huge variance in the level of readiness (average is only 59%) for ransomware and breaches.
  • Healthcare as a whole is not up to par with the following capabilities: user training, endpoint encryption, threat intelligence and security incident response.
  • Top 2 concerns for healthcare IT were ransomware and cybercrime hacking.

High Cost of Ransomware

  • Healthcare has the highest data breach cost per capita, cost $1.6 billion per year, more than half of hospitals hit with ransomware last year!
  • I.D. protection does nothing

How Improvements Can Be Made

  • A good security plan should cover the values of HIMSS Health IT values: satisfaction, electronic secure data, and savings.
  • Setting a high benchmark, being data driven, and sharing that data are keys to improvements.

This talk showed me that overall, healthcare has a tough challenge when it comes to cybersecurity. Regardless, due to demands of improved optimization and a user base that is pushing for more innovative technology, healthcare must step up.

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About the author

Phuong Tran

Phuong Tran is a Carnegie Mellon University-Heinz College graduate with a degree in healthcare policy and management. In his spare time he enjoys discovering new restaurants and playing basketball.

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