Securing Telehealth: Navigating the Challenges of Remote Healthcare
23rd September, 2023
As telehealth services rely on digital platforms, patients must transmit personal information via the Internet, including sensitive financial data encoded within the healthcare service's internal systems. Without robust cybersecurity measures and regulatory safeguards, this information becomes a tempting target for hackers and cybercriminals.
According to Alex Heid, the Chief Research and Development Officer at SecurityScorecard, telehealth applications expand the digital presence of healthcare organizations, rendering them more susceptible to cyberattacks. For instance, malware infections, phishing attacks, and other cybercrimes have led to a staggering 77% decrease in the IP reputation security of medical institutions. Consequently, their digital services are less secure and more vulnerable to data breaches.
This heightened vulnerability has also attracted hackers who seek to compromise telehealth vendors to gain access to patient's health information for potential digital identity theft. Despite the inherent risks in storing patient data, such information is vital for accurate diagnoses. Therefore, the telehealth industry must intensify its efforts to bolster data security.
Regrettably, telehealth is just one of the many digital services cybercriminals target. The transition to digital services in the wake of the pandemic has seen a doubling in cyber incidents. Alarmingly, the cybersecurity workforce is currently outnumbered by these malicious actors. David Shearer, CEO of the largest association of certified cybersecurity professionals, highlights the staggering need for four million trained cybersecurity experts to safeguard digital services, including telehealth.
What are the Key Cybersecurity Concerns in Telemedicine?
Telemedicine has revolutionized healthcare by allowing doctors, nurses, and patients to communicate without exposing anyone to unnecessary health risks. However, it's imperative to recognize this technology's security and privacy risks. Here are some critical concerns: