Why healthcare should prioritize data protection

Healthcare providers face the unprecedented risk of cyberattacks in the coronavirus pandemic. In recent weeks, Australia’s Cyber ​​Security Center has expressed concern that healthcare providers, including hospitals and elderly housings, have been targeted by COVID-19-themed ransomware attacks.

According to experts, the risk of a successful attack is now higher than normal, and a ransomware attack can have a devastating impact on critical infrastructure within the healthcare sector. This is partly due to the catastrophic consequences of ransomware. Limits access to critical clinical and research data needed by clinicians and researchers, which can mean the difference between life and death.

The consequences of these attacks can be disastrous and require payments to attackers, decryption tools, or the bet of recovering sensitive data from infrequently tested backups. Placing an organization’s most valuable assets in a hostage scenario often leads to heavy payments to cybercriminals, federal penalties, and reputational damage.

Despite billions of dollars being spent each year protecting entry points into clinical data, many healthcare providers still underestimate the strategic value of improving data protection. .. As this pandemic continues, critical services must be available while keeping data secure.

Newly evolving ransomware risks challenge healthcare leaders

Healthcare organizations are a particularly attractive target for ransomware attacks. Not only do they have large amounts of critical data and intellectual property, but they also face the additional challenge of adjusting their security strategies to counter increasingly sophisticated attacks.

Healthcare providers are familiar with the importance of backing up important data to ensure compliance with government regulations such as the Healthcare Identifiers Act. However, as these providers face explosive demand and unprecedented amounts of data, the need to restore data quickly has never been greater.

In addition, the rise of telecommuting marks a vulnerable time for companies across the country. The sudden transition from on-premises operations to the cloud is an important challenge for many and requires the deployment of reliable, fast, and secure virtual desktop infrastructure.

It is important for healthcare organizations and businesses to take a unified approach to data security and ensure that valuable information is protected when access is critical. Establishing these security measures can be a daunting task, especially if they are built on older infrastructure.

The Australian Intelligence Commission’s latest notable data breach report reveals that the healthcare sector is the most vulnerable industry, accounting for 22% of all cybersecurity breaches. Nonetheless, according to a report from an Australian digital health agency, only one-third of Australian healthcare organizations incorporate cybersecurity awareness training into their policies and procedures.

Why hospitals need data backup and recovery tools

Backing up your data, whether on-premises or in the cloud, is essential to mitigate ransomware attacks. They protect important data from many common scenarios, from disaster recovery to accidental deletion.

Unfortunately, attacks can stress existing data protection infrastructures that may be built on older architectures, exacerbating business challenges and causing further downtime and confusion.

Two key recovery features to limit the impact of ransomware attacks are backup reliability and quick data restoration. Reliable backup technology that can prevent changes and malicious deletions is paramount. If your backup system and data are compromised, you will need to completely reinstall and reconfigure your system.

The second aspect, quick backup restoration, is also essential to avoid downtime and ensure that important data is accessible when needed.

Evaluating the storage infrastructure that underpins these critical systems is just as important. Legacy systems, which are extremely complex and require routine maintenance, are vulnerable to a myriad of vulnerabilities that limit both backup reliability and restore speed. An infrastructure that emphasizes simplicity is essential for fast and reliable backups that can combat the constant threat of ransomware attacks.

As the burden on healthcare organizations increases, the need for fast, flexible and secure infrastructure has never been greater. Companies of all sizes need to face this challenge across all their businesses. This requires the organization not only to focus on effective storage and management of data, but also to be the administrator of its protection.

* Josh Gluck is Pure Storage’s Vice President of Global Healthcare Technology Strategy.

Josh will be attending a webinar on promoting data protection in healthcare on Thursday, October 8th. He will be attended by Anthony Kitzelmann, Chief Information Security Officer of the Australian Digital Health Agency. Keith Smith, Project Delivery Director, Southwest Alliance O’Brural Health, Victoria; Johnny Agottness, Chief Information Officer, Bolton Clark.

Image Credit: © / au / Sikov

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