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Raytheon|Websense® Diagnoses State of Healthcare IT Security

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Thursday, Sep 24, 2015

Whether reducing legal exposure or improving patient outcomes, there is a growing awareness in the healthcare industry for data systems to ensure privacy and security while providing reliability and functionality. The rapid digitization of the healthcare industry has led to a huge increase in the number of targeted attacks against the sector, putting confidential patient data at risk. Today, Raytheon|Websense® Security Labs™ experts, using real-world data gathered from billions of email and web events identified by its global threat intelligence network, released its second* industry report, this time offering new and timely insight crucial to protecting healthcare organizations - and the individuals who use their services - from the security exploits and vulnerabilities impacting them today.

Key findings from the report reveal the healthcare industry is highly-targeted and increasingly vulnerable to attack, with340 percent more security incidents and attacks than the average industry and more than 200 percent more likely to encounter data theft. One in every 600 attacks in the healthcare sector also involves advanced malware, yet – as detailed in the report - many healthcare organizations lack the administrative, technical, or organizational skills necessary to detect, mitigate and prevent cyberattacks. Even as CIOs emphasize IT as critical to helping achieve patient care goals, an overwhelming majority are stymied by a lack of budget and resources.

The absence of a comprehensive healthcare IT strategy leaves the industry open to the considerable consequences resulting from data loss in the form of external attacks, employee negligence and the insider threat. Digital and connected diagnostic and screening systems, expected to reach more than 40 percent global penetration by 2020, add another layer of complexity. Raytheon|Websense experts estimate that up to 75 percent of hospital network traffic goes unmonitored by security solutions out of fear that improperly configured security measures or alarming false positives could dramatically increase the risk to patient health or well-being.

As healthcare becomes more digitally connected than ever before, it’s crucial that its practitioners and executives know how to protect their organizations and the individuals who use their services. Better, ongoing security training for employees as well as a thorough understanding of the specific and evolving cyber threats affecting their organizations and how to defend against them is the only way to counter breaches and the high cost of remediation.

To learn more about what’s ailing healthcare IT security and potential remedies, click here.

*The first report, on the Financial Services Industry, can be found here.

About the Author

Carl Leonard

Principal Security Analyst

Carl Leonard is a Principal Security Analyst within Forcepoint X-Labs. He is responsible for enhancing threat protection and threat monitoring technologies at Forcepoint, in collaboration with the company’s global Labs teams. Focusing on protecting companies against the latest cyberattacks that...