1 in 5 Americans had a healthcare provider affected by cyberattacks, report finds

With cyberattacks escalating in the healthcare industry, about 20 percent of Americans have a healthcare provider that has been affected by cyberattacks in the last year. Consumers said this could influence them to change providers, a March 3 Morphisec report titled "Consumer Healthcare Cybersecurity: Threat Index" finds.

The report surveyed more than 1,000 consumers across the U.S. in January to gauge how they view cyber threats in the healthcare sector.

Five key takeaways for healthcare providers:

  1. Twenty percent of Americans had a healthcare provider affected by cyberattacks in the previous 12 months, compared to 21 percent in 2020 and six percent in 2019.

  2. Sixty-one percent of consumers said they are more worried about ransomware taking their healthcare provider offline and affecting their care than they were last year.

  3. Twenty-seven percent of consumers said that if their provider were the victim of a cyberattack that exposed their health record, they would consider switching to a new provider.

  4. Fifty-seven percent of consumers think their providers working remotely increases the risk of their personal information being compromised.

  5. More than half of consumers who used telemedicine during the pandemic worried more about the security of their personal information than they did in an in-person setting.

"To better protect their patients in the hybrid setting they are operating in today due to COVID-19, healthcare providers need to take an active approach to cybersecurity that includes cyber deception and even adversary engagement tactics," Andrew Homer, vice president of security strategy at Morphisec, told Becker's. "These approaches allow organizations to automate and preempt the counter to an attack while also learning more about that adversary and their planned attack chain."

More articles on cybersecurity: 
5 most common HIPAA violations physicians should watch for
Alaska hospital notifies patients of employee EHR snooping
UHS lost $67M from malware attack: 5 details on financial effects

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