Why Your Medical Office Needs to Take Cybersecurity Seriously

The vast majority of organizations depend heavily on technology, and most people utilize computers and mobile devices on a daily basis. But cybercrime is an increasingly potent threat all over the world. Cybersecurity should be a concern for all organizations, but it’s particularly crucial for healthcare practices. 

Medical offices deal with sensitive data, and client confidence is vital. Data breaches come with serious consequences, so it’s important to strengthen your cybersecurity stance. It will protect your business, employees, and clients.

The Threat of Cybercrime

Cybercrime is becoming more commonplace and threats are evolving all the time. It is estimated that hackers attack every 39 seconds. The prevalence of cybercrime is alarming, especially given the potential implications for medical practices. 

All medical practices are required to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA ). This regulation was introduced in 1996, and it is designed to protect patients’ personal information. Under the guidelines, companies, practices, and healthcare ventures that deal with sensitive medical data must take stringent steps and implement measures to protect that confidential data. 

If a healthcare provider’s network is breached, the consequences can be devastating. Studies suggest that a third of people will abandon a business following a security breach, and in the world of medicine and healthcare, where patient trust is essential, the figures could be even higher. 

Losing or exposing data can have dramatic consequences for healthcare practices, contributing to lost incomes, a damaged reputation and issues related to compliance and data protection. 

Why is Cybersecurity So Important for Medical Practices?

There are several reasons why cybersecurity is essential for medical practices. These include:

Legal Obligations

Under HIPAA, all medical organizations are required to comply with strict regulations to protect sensitive personal data and reduce the risk of cyber attacks.There are significant penalties for companies or practices that are found to be flouting the rules or failing to protect patients, including fines that can cost up to $250,000. 

Financial losses

Security breaches are costly for medical practices. Beyond the HIPAA violation fines, organizations will need to pay for recovery and investigation services, and they may face litigation as well. Figures suggest that healthcare breaches in the US cost over $6 billion per year.  

Patient Loyalty

Patients give information and personal details to healthcare providers in the belief that the data they share will be protected and kept confidential. A breach can contribute to a lack of trust, and patients may choose to visit a different practice or provider. This loss of business can be devastating.

Reputation Damage

Security breaches are not just costly in terms of financial losses. They can also be incredibly damaging for the reputation of a medical practice. Patients need to be able to trust companies and providers, and a security breach could make them think twice about choosing your business. This means fewer new clients, in addition to the loss of existing clients.

Strengthening Your Cybersecurity

Running a healthcare business can be challenging, especially when you consider the threats posed by cybercrime. There is a lot on your plate! But it’s extremely important that your network’s cybersecurity isn’t neglected.

The easiest way to ensure your organization is HIPAA compliant is to work with an expert IT service provider. They know exactly how to help. An IT company that specializes in IT services for healthcare companies can help you minimize risks, protect your reputation, and ensure you are fully HIPAA compliant. 

Cybercrime isn’t going to decrease, and medical practices are a very attractive target for hackers. It is vital for practice owners to be aware of threats and risks and to take steps to shield their employees and clients.