Cybersecurity: How Healthcare is at Risk
The theme of this year’s Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Global Conference and Exhibition held in April was “Health That Connects + Tech That Cares.” Cybersecurity definitely is a significant part of this picture. Recently, I spoke with Lee Kim, HIMSS Senior Principal, Cybersecurity & Privacy, on cybersecurity’s impact on healthcare. Between her current role and vast experience, her insights are valuable. She stated that healthcare is at risk when information is not governed properly. Patient lives depend on the accuracy and protection of the information needed to treat them and potentially save their lives. When that information is not properly protected, both it and the patient’s safety are in jeopardy.
I asked her about new cybersecurity threats on the horizon that the industry should be aware of, and if any steps could be taken to protect a system from future attack. “The threat that we are all concerned about is generative AI that will, if misused, generate more deep-fake phishing,” Lee explained. “The possibilities for fraud, for harm to the organization and to patients is heightened as a result,” she said, adding, “We need to think about how we can use generative AI within our organizations to bolster our security defenses and to essentially make sure that we have as many layers of protection as possible so we stay ahead of the threat.”
She further explained that this requires a careful architecting for the future, so organizational task forces are ahead of the game. A helpful tool to help build this plan are the newly released results from the 2022 HIMSS Healthcare Cybersecurity Survey, in which Lee herself played an instrumental role. The survey reflects the opinions of healthcare cybersecurity professionals responsible for either day-to-day operations or oversight of healthcare cybersecurity programs. It provides an overview of what’s happening today in healthcare cybersecurity, including both the workforce and current practices. Recommendations are given for the future to promote greater resilience and better security postures.
Bottom line: security remains a vital issue, and everyone is vulnerable. It is important to keep on top of the threats that pose danger and risk to the safety, security, availability and reliability of your systems.
The results of the HIMSS Cybersecurity Survey can be found here. Be sure to watch the full ITN video interview with Lee Kim, A Look at Cybersecurity and How Healthcare is at Risk, which you can find here.