Healthcare IT systems have been damaged or disrupted, and patient and financial data lost through recent cyber attacks, according to the new 2015 Cybersecurity Survey released by HIMSS, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.
HIMSS reports that two-thirds of respondents said their organization had recently experienced a significant security incident. Nearly nine out of 10 (87 percent) said cybersecurity was an increased business priority over the past year.
As one would expect, the threat of cyber attacks has led information security officers in the healthcare industry to improve network security, endpoint protection, data loss prevention, disaster recovery and IT continuity–at least half of respondents said they had followed through on these efforts.
However, most respondents said they only had an average level of confidence that their organizations could protect their IT infrastructure and data.
“The recent breaches in the healthcare industry have been a wake-up call that patient and other data are valuable targets and healthcare organizations need a laser focus on cybersecurity threats,” said Lisa Gallagher, HIMSS Vice President of Technology Solutions. “Healthcare organizations need to rapidly adjust their strategies to defend against cyber-attacks. This means incorporating threat data, and implementing new tools and sophisticated analysis into their security process.”
Other key findings from the survey include:
- 42 percent of respondents say there are too many emerging and new threats to track
- 62 percent of security incidents have resulted in limited disruption of IT systems with limited impact on clinical care and IT operations
- 64 percent of respondents say a lack of appropriate cybersecurity personnel prevents their organization from mitigating cybersecurity events
- Respondents use an average of 11 different technologies to secure their IT environment and more than half hired full-time personnel to manage information security
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