Hospitals must boost cybersecurity investment despite other costs weighing on margins: Moody's

At $10.1 million, healthcare had the highest average cost of a data breach in 2022, with the financial sector following behind at $6 million, according to Moody's Investor Service.

Given the high level of risk in healthcare, hospitals and health systems will face a growing need over the next few years to increase cybersecurity investment to protect patient data and ensure continuity of critical operations.

The global healthcare cybersecurity market will grow by 15 percent a year from 2020 to 2025 to hit $125 billion, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. But the need to invest more in cyber defense systems comes at a time when hospitals are battling rising expenses on multiple fronts, with inflation a significant contributor to the increasing costs of supplies, drugs and equipment.

Furthermore, staffing shortages continue to push wages upward and restrain growth in margins and higher interest rates will raise the cost of debt and make financing equipment or investing in capital more expensive.

"Cyber insurers have faced more frequent and sharply higher claims from ransomware attacks in recent years, significantly weakening the product's profitability," Moody's said in an April 11 report. "Insurers have tightened terms and conditions, and premiums have risen, sending the cost of transferring risk higher."

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