Increased interconnectivity of medical devices and the proliferation of medical data has made the healthcare industry a very lucrative business for cybercriminals. Several reports indicate that healthcare is on top of all industries being mostly affected by cyberattacks. The most common form of incidents includes stealing patients’ personal and medical records and encrypting them for ransom money by preventing medical staff from accessing patient information. But capable terrorists could also be able to render active medical devices deadly.
Yet, the level of awareness, funding and efforts allocated to cybersecurity in healthcare is very low, especially considering the costs arising for response and recovery from a potential attack and the overall damage cased in the aftermath of an attack, impacting the organisation’s reputation or even existence.
An analysis of past attacks shows that more than 80% of them could have been prevented if better protection mechanisms had been in place and the medical professionals were more aware of cybersecurity issues. Awareness raising and training, as well as the implementation of stronger cybersecurity strategies, tools and protection mechanisms, are vital steps for changing organisational cultures and attitudes towards cybersecurity, and minimising cybersecurity incidents.
The SecureHospitals.eu Open Awareness and Information Hub seeks to provide a one-stop-shop for healthcare providers (solution seekers) to find information, awareness raising materials, training courses, as well as technical solutions and consultancy services dedicated to cybersecurity in healthcare settings. Through the ambitious ‘Community of Practice’ concept, the platform seeks to provide a lively online space for connecting all types of stakeholders included in the ecosystem for sharing knowledge, experiences and strategies.