How Covid-19 has impacted healthcare security
The pandemic has disrupted virtually all industries, but none more than healthcare. The pressure to modify existing operations and to create exceptions to sound security practices in support of a rapidly changing mission has created new attack vectors for cybercriminals. Here are some of the security issues that have been created by or exacerbated by the pandemic.
More employees than ever are working from home and as many as six in 10 are using personal devices to conduct company business. Employee churn is creating issues with security training, particularly as previously retired or temporary clinicians are brought in to support surge operations.
While telemedicine use has declined somewhat since the early days of the pandemic, many healthcare organizations are still struggling to implement digital health initiatives in a secure manner, particularly when it comes to working with new clinical technology partners as part of new healthcare delivery models.
Early in the pandemic, brand new sites of care were being created on the fly; for example, drive-through testing. Now, as we move to vaccine distribution, patients are being treated at football stadiums, baseball parks, and other locations that are not part of the traditional healthcare system, creating new attack opportunities for cybercriminals.
Many healthcare organizations are challenged with the processes associated with documenting and securing new medical and non-medical equipment that was purchased to fight the pandemic.
Similarly, many healthcare organizations are still working through a backlog of new
business associates and other vendors that were fast-tracked to support the demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies and services. Organizations need to properly document those new agreements and relationships.