International and local institutions have concluded that the health of a nation is one of the most critical elements that determine its wellbeing, prosperity and the quality of life of its citizens. In Australia healthcare is provided by both private and public organisations. All reports agree that with our aging population it will only continue to rise in importance and require more and more funding and support.
For healthcare providers, security can be a difficult hurdle to deal with especially with the increasing demand and tighter budgets. To solve these challenges healthcare providers are applying technology in new ways to deliver cost efficient services to all stakeholders. This unfortunately also has the effect of increasing the exposure of healthcare providers to cyber security threats.
In the United States in 2015, three of the five largest data breaches were in healthcare.
Many of the issues and concerns confronting mainstream businesses around risk and security also plague the healthcare industry. The healthcare industry has the added burden to meet stringent statutory compliance requirements.
With the move to digitise all health care records, the emergence of government online portals and a rapidly increasing amount of electronic health information being exchanged online, there is now an increasing number attacks in healthcare here and around the world.
The Ponemon Institute research found that some 90 percent of medical institutions surveyed said their organisations have been victims of a cyber attack. They also reported that the cost of data breach varies by industry. The average global cost of data breach per lost or stolen record is $154. However, if a healthcare organisation has a breach, the average cost could be as high as $363. The vast majority of all respondents agree that healthcare organisations are more vulnerable to data breach than other industries.
Steve Ingram, the cyber services leader for PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Asia-Pacific, has reported that the PriceWaterhouseCooper’s statistics align roughly with Ponemon’s, putting the total cost of each breach in Australia at roughly A$3 million.