Even with the amount of perceived security you think your network may contain without any added protection, a healthcare data breach is still very much possible. It can be hard to figure an exact number, but can you afford what a healthcare breach would cost?
Statistics, unfortunately, prove the latter. In 2016, just 15 breaches alone resulted in a whopping 1.1 billion of identity exposures. Each breach resulted in the release of one too many innocent individual’s sensitive and confidential data – just like that. The average cost of a breach is around $402 per record, and that adds up quickly.
The reality of a healthcare breach
Breaches can happen in any industry, but no other industry is more vulnerable than health care.
In 2017, VisionQuest Eyecare was one victim of a network cyber-attack. According to HealthIT Security, this resulted in patient’s names, home addresses, insurance information, phone numbers, confidential medical data, and even their social security numbers being leaked to the hackers.
Harrisburg Gastroenterology, LTD also dealt with a breach of potentially over 90,000 patients’ information compromised. This irreparably damaged Harrisburg’s reputation, even though they gave clients a one-year membership for identity protection services.
Based on the latter experience, it becomes clear that when (not if) a breach occurs, the affected company is blind-sided. They do not know whose information got leaked and whether or not anything was or will be done with it. The individual victims are in the same boat, leaving them no choice but to cancel credit cards and take other necessary actions to protect themselves. The lack of control over situations such as a breach is downright frustrating and disappointing, to say the least.
We can talk about prevention all day, but if you don’t understand where your office, practice, or system is most vulnerable, it may not mean anything. On our blog, we’ve covered wireless healthcare devices. Obviously, if you’re in healthcare, these devices will impact your network.
But this goes even further for you as more devices in your office are also networked wirelessly. For example, heart telemetry monitors, EKG machines, portable x-ray machines, medication scanners, and more are all devices that could expose your network. These individual devices need to stay up to date with current patches and software, otherwise, they are a vulnerability for your organization. Do you have a plan for ensuring all the devices (computers, phones, pagers) plus medical devices are all current?
Playing it safe
Whether you’re in the healthcare industry or not, you must obtain the protection and security you need to reduce the chances of a breach occurring. You can never play it too safe when it comes to cybersecurity.
You may be asking at this point, “Why invest in more security when a breach may not even hit me?”
The problem is, you never know when and if a breach will hit your company, but once it does, there’s no way to take it back. Bringing the cost of extra protection versus the cost of a health care breach into perspective, it is easy to see which is the lesser evil.
If you don’t play it safe, you risk:
- Hundreds or even thousands of victims questioning you and your business’s security regarding the breach
- The added stress of an investigation
- Federal penalties based on the HITECH Act
- Risk of fines from $5,000 to $50,000 if not Payment Card Industry compliant
- Damage to business or brand reputation
A company is accountable for protecting sensitive data, hence the fines. If a breach does happen, guess whose responsibility it is to make it right? The company itself.
Get cybersecurity now
Regardless of your company’s industry, your wise choice would be to pay for more security to avoid a plethora of issues that could happen if a healthcare data breach occurred.
Too many companies in the healthcare industry and beyond have faced distressing situations all because they didn’t consider optimal security as a primary focus of their practice. Even small businesses or recent start-ups can be at risk for a breach; it can happen to any company at any time.
At Savant Solutions, our biggest concern is keeping your both data secure and performance-ready through a variety of different means. This includes security assessment, network security, cloud security, IoT security, endpoint security, email security, application security, PinPoint compliance, backup and disaster recovery, patch management, and more.
As your trusted IT advisor, we will do everything in our power to provide the technology solutions you require.