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Cybersecurity threats continue to target hospitals and health systems

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Healthcare systems and hospitals have historically been slow to change and adopt new technologies. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has forced a rapid shift in this space to adopt telemedicine solutions and remote work, but there has been little to no time to ensure that all of the cybersecurity precautions needed for these new technologies were taken. As such, hospital networks and medical devices that rely on an internet connection to provide features that improve patient well-being and healthcare have faced an increased risk of cyberattacks.

A recent report by Moody’s Investors Service raises these issues being faced by healthcare cybersecurity and urges healthcare systems to increase the number of precautions being taken. Last September, a high number of ransomware attacks against US-based healthcare company Universal Health Services resulted in postponed surgeries and money losses. In Germany, ransomware attacks led to the death of a patient due to delayed care, as medical professionals were forced to turn away patients from emergency rooms. While some hospitals can defend against attacks, their information technology (IT) systems will still be down for a period of time during the process, which puts patients’ lives at risk.

In order to provide quality medical care to patients around the globe, healthcare systems will have to spend more on cybersecurity, use up-to-date innovative cybersecurity methods, employ end-to-end security solutions and utilise state-of-the-art healthcare cybersecurity options. This will produce a notable market opportunity for technology vendors to offer security solutions or explore the implementation of new methods such as machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).

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