The average healthcare organization experiences a cyberattack nearly 12 times per year, or one attack per month, according to a new report on cybersecurity in medicine.
The report, titled “The State of Cybersecurity in Healthcare Organizations in 2016,” was published by the Ponemon Institute, a data security research center in Traverse City, Mich.
“The research reveals that healthcare organizations are struggling to deal with the same threats other industries face,” the Institute said in a press release. “With cyberattacks against healthcare organizations growing increasingly frequent and complex, there is more pressure to refine cybersecurity strategies.”
The report also found that approximately half (48 percent) of responding organizations have suffered patient data loss or exposure during the past 12 months, with 26 percent reporting that they were uncertain if a breach had occurred.
Seventy-nine percent of respondent said system failures pose the biggest risk to data security, with unsecure medical devices (77 percent), cyberattackers (77 percent), employee-owned mobile devices (76 percent), identity thieves (73 percent) and mobile device insecurity (72 percent) all cited as potentially serious risks to private information.
“Healthcare organizations have a special duty to secure data and systems against cyber hacks,” the Institute said. “The misuse of patient information and system downtime can not only put sensitive and confidential information at risk but also put the lives of patients at risk as well.”