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The healthcare sector is always in need of constant supply of power and software availability to run so many sophisticated and life saving devices. If there is a power cut then there will be a risk for so many patients who are surviving on life-support systems.

With the advancement of technology the increase of threats have also quadrupled. The cyber crime and the threats of medical data of the patients has caused so many problems. The healthcare fraternity is busy catering to the sanctity of human health so they are often unaware of the recent cyber attacks. Though some hospitals have installed software and the specialised people to help them avoid such threats still it is a problem as so many healthdatas are compromised. The attacks can cause enormous damage to the healthcare sector in the form of power failure,software disruption etc.

The healthcare sector is always in need of constant supply of power and software availability to run so many sophisticated and life saving devices. If there is a power cut then there will be a risk for so many patients who are surviving on life-support systems. In the recent study on hospitals in the U.S, it was found that multiple cyber attacks have paralyzed the healthcare care system as there were delays in medical care,surgeries were suspended and it cost the hospitals a million dollars.

The cyber attacks cause loss to the medical hospitals in the form of damage to the reputation of the hospitals and the trust of the customers availing their services invariably leading to the decline in sales. According to recent data, the cybersecurity breach has affected the world economy by more than 1 trillion dollars or more precisely one percent of the global GDP and a loss to around 600 billion dollars. The medical datas are important because they often contain sensitive identifiable information of an individual that is valuable in black market.

The hospitals need the computers to run many tasks such as maintaining patients records,live monitoring,x-rays,operations etc. They are helpful for configuring lab-tools, monitoring the blood pressure and heart rate etc. Around 95% of cyber attacks are caused by human-error. The leakage of information will lead to the threat of immediate crisis to public health such as the epidemic of AIDS,enduring problems of injuries and chronic illness that are often hidden by the people in order to continue their financial help.

Around 95% of cyber attacks are caused by human-error.

WHO has already addressed the major threats in healthcare sectors:

  1. Air pollution and also climate change
  2. Spread of Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)
  3. Global spread of influenza
  4. Fragile and Vulnerable environment
  5. Increase of Antimicrobial resistance
  6. Depleting primary healthcare
  7. Rise of high threat pathogens

There are ways to remove these problems from the healthcare industry in order to safeguard the lives of so many people.

We can avoid these threats with the following ways:

  1. Intermittent monitoring of Cybersecurity Risk 
  2. The rapid use of mobile device management to avoid crisis
  3. The authentication should be made multi-factor to curtail risk
  4. Incorporation of identity and access management should be strictly maintained
  5. Security should be validated with Internet of Things(IoT) 
  6. Device Encryption
  7. The medical team should be trained for the security breaches 

There are websites which show the daily cyber attacks done to various countries.

In order to safeguard the lives of so many people the healthcare datas needs to be preserved in a robust manner and the recent pandemic has also aggravated the situation where thousands of personal information is linked with the adhaar card and the same is used for vaccination purposes invariably risking the information of individuals. Government should give assurance and a note of conformity that these datas are not leaked for economic gains.

Composed by: “Dr. Debleena Bhattacharya is the Associate Editor of InnoHEALTH magazine and working as an Assistant Professor in Marwadi University, Gujarat. “

Photo by Unsplash

InnoHEALTH magazine digital team

Author InnoHEALTH magazine digital team

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