News Feature | July 20, 2015

Physicians Have Doubts About Cybersecurity

Katie Wike

By Katie Wike, contributing writer

6 Security Laws IT Solutions Providers Should Know

A recent Med Data Group report indicated many physicians believe their organization’s cybersecurity is below average.

A Med Data Group survey of 272 physicians has found respondents are less than confident in their organization’s cybersecurity. Twenty-one percent of doctors said they believed their cybersecurity was below average, while 8 percent of IT workers and administrators had the same view.

“Cybersecurity and healthcare IT are both burgeoning areas of business,” wrote Med Data’s Gregory Huang. “Put them together and you have a volatile mix of emerging technologies, security and privacy risks, and regulatory requirements — but also a lot of opportunity for growth and improvements.

“It’s no surprise that doctors and hospital administrators are concerned with security. The healthcare industry is a top target of cyber-attacks, and it has highly sensitive information about large swaths of the population.”

Health IT Security reports top weaknesses to security include messaging and email, followed by EHRs, mobile communication devices, and patient portals.

According to Fierce Health IT, twice as many doctors at large practices rated their organizations as above average in countering cybersecurity threats compared to physicians at small practices. Of all physicians, 68 percent believed malicious outsiders were the biggest threat. Compromised applications (65 percent) and system or network failures (40 percent) followed behind.

“The healthcare industry has enough to worry about without getting hacked, of course. Sadly, this is the reality in any sector whose companies and organizations have access to a lot of valuable information. Now is the time to listen to those on the front lines — before the next big attack is discovered,” said Huang.