4 Motives Behind Why the Healthcare Security Market is Surging

January 2017

Today’sthreats against healthcare institutions are becoming more in-depth and moredamaging than ever, forcing IT’s hand to develop (and invest in) a more robustsecurity strategy. As a result,the global healthcare cybersecurity market is expected to reach nearly $11billion by the turn of the decade.

Thereare a number of different reasons why the market, which was valued at $5.5 billion in2014, is poised for substantial growth through 2020. Some of the more impactfulfactors fueling growth include:

  • Number of Data Breaches
  • Digitization of the Industry
  • Value of Healthcare Data
  • Financial Impact of Breaches

Let’stake a closer look at each of these points.

1.      Numberof Data Breaches

In2015, more than 113 million medical records were breached. To put this inperspective, if each case were a single individual, about a third of America’spopulation would have fallen victim. Further, as recently as this summer, we’ve seen a singlecybercriminal advertise more than 600,000 healthcare patient records for saleon the dark web. The records included the victims’ full names, social securitynumbers, birthdates, and more, which could be used for fraudulent activities.

Cybercriminalsunderstand that many hospitals, doctors, and insurers are simply not preparedto counter today’s sheer volume and sophistication of attacks, such as MEDJACK,social engineering, and ransomware. As more healthcare institutions move theirdata online to provide more efficient and effective patient care,cybercriminals will likely continue to eye the industry as their number onetarget. For many healthcare organizations, it’s not if they’ll be hacked, butrather when.

2.      Digitizationof the Industry

Eachtime a digital advancement is made within the healthcare industry, there’s anew opportunity for cybercriminals to sneak their way in. Today’s organizationsare faced with a number of threats as the attack surface is widened with newtechnological innovations designed to streamline care. Utilizing cloud servicesfor data storage, employees connecting to unsecure networks while on the go,the bring your own device (BYOD) phenomenon, and devices with sensitive datathat can be physically stolen (such as laptops and tablets) are just a few ofthe now-common digital practices that have made healthcare more vulnerable.

Inaddition, the expanded adoption of the Internet of MedicalThings (IoMT) throughout the industry adds yet another complicationto the security puzzle. Connected devices, ranging from insulin pumps towireless pacemakers to infusion devices, are forcing healthcare institutions toinvest in technology (like internalsegmentation firewalls) that can protect and “containerize” these devicesfrom inside the network. Instituting connected devices such as these withoutmulti-layered security measures in place can literally have fatal consequences.

3.      Valueof Healthcare Data

Thefact that healthcare institutions are some of the most frequently targetedorganizations across all industries should come as no surprise, as healthcaredata is some of the most valuable to those looking to make a profit on the darkweb. Stolen credit cards on the dark web may go for a dollar, two, or three.Social security numbers on their own may go for somewhere around $15. However,complete health care records are gold mines, reportedly going for as muchas  $60 each.

Whilestolen credit card information can be quickly remedied via cancellation,healthcare records’ have boundless shelf lives. If put in the wrong hands, theinformation from healthcare records can be fraudulently used to obtain and payfor treatments, prescriptions, or even costly surgeries. The bottom line is,healthcare institutions are being forced to invest in data security solutionsso they can protect themselves and their patients and employees against thewave of cybercriminals that are digging for dark web gold.

4.      FinancialImpact of Breaches

Whetherintentional or not, attacks by cybercriminals always cause disruption andimpose financial hardships. In fact, the average cost of a data breach onhealthcare organizations has climbed from $3.79 millionto $4 million in just 2016 alone. And after a breach, organizations typicallylook to hire additional security personnel, need provide on-going creditmonitoring for affected patients, implement employee training around threat awareness,and develop a business continuity strategy and implement new security systems,all of which when combined can represent a pretty penny when it comes to bothcapital expenses and ongoing operating costs.

Additionally,HIPAA fines can be levied on organizations that allow such the breach to occur,not to mention class action lawsuits and attorney fees. However, all of thispales in comparison to the detrimental effects of losing a patient as a resultof a breach.

Final Thoughts

Whilethis list doesn’t represent all of the reasons why the healthcare security market is booming,we believe these are some of the most impactful elements.


November, 2017

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