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The Hidden Health Tech Crisis

August 18, 2021

Technology has been adopted in every facet of our lives – from how we safeguard our homes to how we safeguard our lives. At the latter end of that spectrum, the connectivity of healthcare is helping to make it easier to stay on top of our health, connect with our care providers, and receive the best care possible in an emergency. But with that reliance on technology comes risk.

In an article for HIT Consultant, Roel Decneut, Chief Marketing Officer at Lansweeper, says that cybersecurity concerns are the hidden health tech crisis that no one is talking about.

“Healthcare cyber attacks in the US rose by 55% in 2020, impacting more than 26 million people,” shared Decneut. “Attacks on healthcare providers now represent a $13.2 billion industry, with the average data breach cost per record rising to $499 last year.”

What Decneut believes is one of the largest contributors to the crisis is lack of asset management, making healthcare an easy target.

He explains that many healthcare facilities allow staff to use personal devices on the facility’s network. Staff may also be moving from one facility location to another or even to patients’ homes. This all leads to an increase in the risk for an attack.

“There is a real risk that healthcare networks will become IT ‘jungles’ with large swathes of unregistered devices and increased security threats that can wreak havoc on organizations,” said Decneut.

The article shares some startling statistics relating to healthcare cyberattacks, including a 2021 Ransomware Threat Report by Palo Alto Networks, which found that one in five ransomware cases investigated in 2020 involved providers that relied on computers in patient care. Another report, by

Protenus Breach Barometer, found there has been a 42% increase in hacking incidents in the healthcare sector.

To combat these attacks, Decneut offers advice that mirrors other industries – ensuring that all systems and devices are up-to-date with the latest security patches and have appropriate security protocols in place.

Most of all, Decneut emphasizes the importance of strong IT asset management (ITAM), which provides an opportunity for organizations to know exactly what devices are accessing the network.

“ITAM enables organizations to build a comprehensive, up-to-date, and centralized inventory of hardware, software, and user information for their networked assets, helping assess threats and vulnerabilities and respond to security incidents,” said Decneut.

Ultimately, the goal is for the technology and systems that healthcare facilities are using to be able to function with minimal disruption so that healthcare providers can focus on what matters most: providing quality patient care.

Capitol Tech is now offering a PhD in Healthcare Cybersecurity, which is offered in its entirety online. Additionally, students may elect to complete by three publications or a dissertation, providing students with the opportunity to choose an option that best fits their career goals. For more information on this program, email admissions@captech.edu.