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Feb 26

Healthcare Cybersecurity in 2020

Are you keeping an eye on cybersecurity trends in healthcare for 2020?

There are prediction that cyberattacks will increase considering the massive blows and major hacks that took place in 2019. It is estimated that over 25 million patients were affected by breaches last year – what can practices expect to see in 2020?

Cybersecurity in 2020

It is expected that we will see new technologies, political tensions, and increasing creativity among cybercriminals. Some of the new technologies will enhance the effectiveness of cyberattacks. Some of these include…

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • The Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Cloud
  • 5G
  • More…

Marcus Fowler, Director of Strategic Threat at Darktrace, expects that AI powered cyberattacks will be on the rise in 2020. The expected increase is due to access to open-source AI tools.

As stated, it is also expected that political tensions will cause cyberattacks to increase. These are likely to target critical infrastructure and cause major disruptions, according to Tim Bandos, Vice President of Cybersecurity at Digital Guardian. Lastly, experts predict an increase in impersonation-based attacks in 2020 due to social-engineering. In order to combat how difficult social-engineering threats are to detect, practices should focus on education efforts for end users.

Dustin Anders, VP of Field Engineering at CyberMDX, predicts that data breaches in 2020 are likely to increase due to the increasing connection between practices, entities, and medical devices. It is imperative that healthcare professionals follow security protocols and remain vigilant in preventing breaches as interoperability and connectivity standards grow.

New Types of Cyberattacks & Tactics

Cybercriminals continue to enhance their methods of infiltrating your system. It’s important for you and other members of your practice to stay aware of the new types of threats. Some of these include the following…

  • Social engineering – This type of cyberattack typically refers to malicious acts taken through human interaction while the cybercriminal utilizes psychological manipulation tactics. From there, the end user ends up revealing secure information or making mistakes. This enables the hacker to enter into the system. Cybercriminals taking the social engineering approach to their attack typically perform research on their victim prior to approaching the victim to assess any potential weaknesses. Social engineering threats are particularly dangerous due to their reliance on human error and not software vulnerabilities.
  • Ransomware – Although ransomware isn’t a new form of cyberattacks, it is one that practices need to remain vigilant of. Ransomware, as the name infers, typically requires the end user to pay a ransom, usually in crypto currency, before the data will be unlocked. If the fee is not paid, hackers typically threaten to release the data to the masses which causes the looming threat of an even larger scale security breach for an organization.
  • Malware – Malware is one of the most significant external threats to computer systems and a leading cause of data breaches. These types of breaches compromise the integrity, availability, and confidentiality of your practice’s data.
  • Mobile technology – All of us utilize a multitude of apps on our phones – from GPS navigation, to email, to the internet, and other sensitive apps, like banking. The security created for these programs is far less secure than that on your computers but we are all performing the same functions. This leaves us open for outside threats while using mobile applications. When using mobile technology in relation to healthcare, ensure that the applications are HIPAA compliant to reduce some of the associated risk.

Each year, cybercriminals are becoming savvier and reaching more and more for rich data that is found in healthcare information. As a field that is becoming an increasingly larger target for cyberattacks, it’s important to know what is on the horizon in cybersecurity and how you can take action to protect your practice.

Are you looking for a solution to arm your practice in case of a breach? MicroMD’s solution partner, Data Guardian Pros, can help. Call us today at 800.624.8832 or visit us at for more information.

About the author,
Savanna Adams

Savanna is the Marketing Communication Specialist at Henry Schein MicroMD. She schedules emails to clients, prospects, and VARs, manages social media accounts, performs research, writes blogs and eBooks, and much more while helping to support the simple yet powerful MicroMD solutions.

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