Survey: Ransomware, malware among top concerns for health IT executives

Regardless of size, healthcare facilities report similar cybersecurity concerns, according to a recent survey.

The survey included responses from 190 members of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives and the Association for Executives in Healthcare Information Security. When considering size, respondents were divided into three groups: those from facilities with more than 400 beds, those from facilities with 100 to 399 beds and those from facilities with fewer than 100 beds.

Here's what you need to know:

1. All three groups ranked ransomware their highest concern when considering potential security exploits; other major concerns included malware and hacking. However, when asked to consider which security exploits were most common, malware proved the most cited response.

2. When considering potential security threats, facilities with fewer than 100 beds cited social engineering as their greatest concern, while the other two groups cited data theft. However, when asked to consider which security threats were most common, social engineering proved the most reported response for all three groups.

3. All three groups ranked data exposure their highest concern when considering potential security vulnerabilities. However, when asked to consider which security vulnerabilities were most common, facilities with fewer than 100 beds cited security misconfiguration, while facilities with more than 400 beds cited other application vulnerabilities; medium-sized facilities were tied between these two options.

4. All three groups reported that if their organization was targeted through a cyberattack, it would perform better than had the system been attacked one year ago. This confidence was especially pronounced when asked whether their organization had better systems in place to prepare for a security incident than one year ago.

5. When respondents were asked whether federal legislators understand the importance of security enough to support IT security initiatives, the plurality of participants (39.46 percent) reported "not confident at all." The second most common response (29.25 percent) was "neither confident nor unconfident."

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