IT Security In Healthcare “Worse Than Retail”

May 30, 2014

Healthcare organisations are “rife with insecurity,” making them much more vulnerable to attack than other industries, a new study has claimed.

According to the research, it is a case of when, not if, a large-scale cyber-attack puts patient health information files in danger.  

Security rating firm BitSight Technology released a report called Will Healthcare Be The Next Retail? – a reference to the large data breach that hit American retail chain Target.

The company’s CTO, Stephen Boyer, has warned an IT publication that a big attack on the health sector could put the safety and lives and patients at stake.

“The Target breach was just a watershed moment in the industry. It’s changing conversations everywhere we go,” he added.

Healthcare “Worst Performing Industry”

The study analysed four industries: healthcare, finance, retail and utilities, examining the number of attacks each sector received and how long they took to respond to threats.

Healthcare took more than five days to solve problems, making it the slowest performing of the four. Finance was the quickest to respond, taking 3.5 days while both retail and utilities took four days.

Despite this however, the report claims that some health organisations actually led the market with best practices and adequate resources, however on the whole, the sector was the weakest.

Boyer claims “key conversations” surrounding the improvement of healthcare IT are occurring, but he worries changes will not happen quickly enough.




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