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Cyber News

Cyber Security in the Healthcare Sector

Cyber Security in the Healthcare sector

Cyber Security in the Healthcare Sector: the situation

The healthcare sector is facing numerous challenges related to technological advancements and the maintenance of personal data privacy.

In this context, a determining factor is cyber security, which is increasingly important within this sector.

According to the latest Clusit Report 2024, it is estimated that the healthcare sector is the fourth most affected by cyber attacks, with 624 attacks recorded globally (more than double compared to the previous year).

This rapidly growing trend demonstrates the need for greater investment in cyber security, starting from the designation of personnel responsible for cyber security to the definition of robust defense strategies that ensure the operational continuity of healthcare platforms.

Main threats in the Healthcare Sector

  • Data Breaches: Data breaches can lead to the loss or theft of patients’ personal information, such as health insurance details, social security numbers, medical test results, and other sensitive information.
  • Ransomware: Ransomware attacks have become increasingly common in the healthcare sector. Cyber criminals encrypt patient data and demand a ransom to unlock it, causing disruptions in healthcare services and putting patient safety at risk.
  • Unauthorized Access: hackers may attempt to gain unauthorized access to healthcare IT systems to steal information or patient data.
  • Connected Medical Devices: with the rise of networked medical devices, such as heart monitors and insulin pumps, the risk of cyber attacks that could compromise patient safety is increasing.
  • Lack of Security Training: healthcare personnel may not be adequately trained to recognize cybersecurity threats and take appropriate measures to prevent them.
  • Integrity of Medical Data: cyber attacks could compromise the integrity of health data, altering test results or treatment details.
  • Regulations and Compliance: the healthcare sector is subject to numerous data security regulations and standards, including GDPR and NIS2.

The impact of the NIS2 Directive on the Healthcare Sector

The healthcare sector is undergoing an unprecedented digital transformation, integrating advanced technologies aimed at improving care quality and operational efficiency.

Incidents in the healthcare field, mostly classified as high severity, threaten not only patient data and privacy but also the continuity of care and the security of medical devices.

The entry into force of the new NIS2 Directive, scheduled for October 17, 2024, will enforce greater cyber security regulation within EU member states, requiring the implementation of minimum measures to mitigate cyber risk.

The Directive will also have a significant impact on the healthcare sector, leading to the strengthening of measures and processes to defend against cyber threats and ensure the protection of patients’ personal data.

Overall, we can say that NIS2 is not just a mandate but a great opportunity to improve the approach to cyber security, in terms of risk management, governance, and operational continuity management of medical devices.

The role of Artificial Intelligence

The World Health Organization has issued a document providing specific guidelines, “Regulatory Considerations on Artificial Intelligence for Health”, which lists the main rules AI must adhere to ensure its safe, effective, and responsible use in healthcare.

The six main guidelines are:

  1. Documentation and transparency
  2. Risk management and lifecycle approach to AI systems development
  3. Intended use and analytical and clinical validation
  4. Data quality
  5. Privacy and protection of personal and sensitive data
  6. Involvement and collaboration

SGBox for the Healthcare Sector

The SGBox platform supports organizations in the healthcare sector in defending against cyber threats through advanced functionalities for data collection, management, analysis, and incident response, in compliance with privacy regulations.

Discover the features for the healthcare sector >>

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