Securing Healthcare in a Post-Covid World

Plainly COVID has changed the paradigm of global healthcare delivery. The industry was forced to pivot quickly to a new and alarming reality and make changes that were necessary but largely unplanned. The pandemic brought about the greatest change to Healthcare technology and working practices ever seen outside of war.

COVID forced us to quickly provide new forms of remote delivery of healthcare services to our patients via telehealth, telemedicine and other remotely delivered services. It forced non-clinical healthcare staff out of dangerous hospitals to their homes where they could work remotely. But all these changes greatly altered the risk posture of healthcare providers and expanded the threat surface to likely attacks.

While diligent security teams have been reassessing risk and security, and slowly implementing new controls to protect against new threats and vulnerabilities, there is still a concerns of what might have been missed. 

Despite new controls, what do we need to consider to make sure that these COVID changes have not exposed our HIT / HIoT systems to elevated risks or more importantly, our patients to new safety concerns?

Cybersecurity has been a secondary consideration for hospital CEOs and their boards for decades, permeated only by minor inconvenient changes to regulations like HIPAA, Joint Commission and HITECH. But the reality is that the healthcare industry is now the target of attack by cyber criminals looking to monetize stolen PHI, PII and research IP, or to hold providers of health services to ransom. 

Plainly, this places consumers of health services at increased risk of patient morbidity and mortality. Patient safety and cybersecurity are now the same thing, interchangeable terms to describe risks to providers and consumers of health services. Yet the reality has not fully sunken in for many. There is a higher chance of you as a patient (and we are all patients at some point in our lives) being negatively impacted by a cyberattack than at any time before. Its no longer a question of convenience, cyber attacks are a question of patient safety.

Listen the the following 38 minute Fireside Chat with Janette Wider, Managing Editor of Healthcare Innovation as Richard and Janette explore the new reality of securing healthcare in a post-pandemic world.

 

 

 

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