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Cybersecurity in Healthcare: The Role of Managed Service Providers (MSPs)

Jacob Pasley (CEO) May 19, 2024 10:14:23 AM

Introduction

In the digital age, cybersecurity has become a critical concern for all industries, but perhaps none more so than healthcare. The healthcare industry’s repository of data and private medical information has long been a magnet for cybercriminals1. This blog post will delve into the current state of cybersecurity in healthcare, highlighting key statistics that underscore the urgency of this issue, and how Managed Service Providers (MSPs) can assist in securing your clinic.

The Rising Threat

In 2020, there were 239.4 million cyberattacks attempted on healthcare systems, marking a staggering 9,851% increase from 20192. This trend continued into 2021, with 66% of healthcare organizations reporting that they experienced a ransomware attack, up from 34% in 20203. Furthermore, there was an 84% increase in healthcare breaches from 2018 to 20213.

The Impact

The consequences of these cyberattacks are far-reaching and severe. In 2020, 560 healthcare organizations were impacted by ransomware attacks2. These attacks resulted in significant disruptions to IT operations and business functions, data breaches, and even financial losses.

One of the most alarming impacts of these attacks is the effect on patient care. Ransomware attacks targeting healthcare organizations in the United States have increased mortality rates and extended the length of patient stays1. For more than half of the surveyed healthcare organizations, disruptive attacks made it impossible to provide patient services1.

The Financial Cost

The financial implications of these cyberattacks are also significant. Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that the healthcare industry will spend upwards of $125 billion on cybersecurity products and services from 2020-20254. Despite this, 56% of healthcare organizations report allocating less than 10% of their IT budget to cybersecurity4.

The Role of Managed Service Providers (MSPs)

MSPs can play a crucial role in enhancing the cybersecurity posture of healthcare organizations21354. They provide a range of IT services and manage them for the organization, configuring the services to support HIPAA compliance when necessary2. By taking some responsibility for HIPAA compliance, a healthcare IT MSP can make it easier for healthcare organizations to comply with HIPAA2.

MSPs ensure network security and compliance, safeguarding patient information from breaches5. They also deploy telemedicine solutions, enabling remote consultations for convenient and timely care5. Providers maintain and update medical devices, ensuring they function efficiently, and minimizing disruptions in care delivery5.

MSPs offer security services that include identity-based security and encryption, authorized privileges and access control, and data accountability and integrity3. They can help set up, secure, and support high-tech solutions that reduce HR concerns3.

Conclusion

The statistics paint a clear picture: cybersecurity in healthcare is a pressing issue that requires immediate attention. As cyberattacks continue to rise, healthcare organizations must invest in robust cybersecurity measures to protect their systems, their data, and, most importantly, their patients. Managed Service Providers (MSPs) can play a crucial role in this endeavor, providing the necessary expertise and services to enhance the cybersecurity posture of healthcare organizations.

References

2: 2020: A Retrospective Look at Healthcare Cybersecurity - HHS.gov 1: Healthcare and cybercrime in the U.S. | Statista 3: Healthcare and Cybersecurity: 35 Key Statistics and Facts … - Tausight 4: State of Healthcare Cybersecurity - HIPAA Journal : Why hospitals and healthcare organizations need to take cybersecurity … - Brookings 5: Choosing the Right IT MSP for Healthcare Systems - TenHats

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