Fortified Health Security’s team of cybersecurity and data loss prevention specialists attend the HIMSS19 Global Conference & Exhibition (and other live corporate events like it) to better position our team to meet any network security threats and vulnerabilities our healthcare clients may face.

After participating in this year’s conference, here are our top five cybersecurity takeaways:

1. Email phishing is still a significant industry concern 

During our time at the event, Fortified Health Security collaborated directly with a wide range of industry professionals to discuss the threat of email phishing within the vertical. The general consensus was two-fold. First, most experts agree that email is still a cybersecurity concern as a common point of data breach compromise. Secondly, with many organization still not conducting consistent phishing tests, the occurrence of this type of cyber attack is likely to continue, and possibly rise, in 2019.

2. Organizations must prepare for increased cybercriminals and security incidents 

Cybercriminal activity is also a major concern for healthcare providers. Cyber attacks are growing increasingly more sophisticated, giving hackers with malicious intent ample opportunity to target a provider or system.

Additionally, online scam artists continue to plague the vertical as well, requiring enhanced user training and education to avoid negligent insiders from unwittingly enabling data breaches.  

3. Security budgets continue to grow

The rising threat of a cyber attack has caused an upswing in cybersecurity budgets throughout the industry. Some healthcare providers will increase their overall allocations, while others will designate funds specifically to reinforce network security and data loss prevention efforts.

Topping the list of “must-have” budget allocations?

Cybersecurity efforts for IoT and connected medical devices. Recent reports predict that the medical connectors market will surge to $2.69 billion by 2021, a significant upswing from 2016’s $1.63 billion.

Healthcare’s rapidly increasing reliance on medical devices and IoT technology will require organizations of every size to effectively reinforce cybersecurity protocol to ward off relentless data hacks and keep patients’ critical information protected.

4. Legacy systems increase risk and vulnerability 

Another key factor discussed at the HIMSS19 Global Conference & Exhibition? Legacy systems.

Older operating systems and platforms are often standard in medical facilities of every size and scope. Some providers have applications that haven’t received support in several years (or even decades in some cases).

These unsupported systems often don’t meet cybersecurity compliance requirements, making them a point of vulnerability.

As attacks and threats surge in the upcoming year, medical facilities will need to upgrade and replace existing legacy systems to strengthen overall integrity throughout their networks.

5. Healthcare IT outsource cybersecurity needs

Perhaps our biggest takeaway from HIMSS19 is that healthcare providers, practitioners, and payers across every vertical are turning to outsourced Managed Service Security Providers to manage their IT and cybersecurity needs.

Using an MSSP offers comprehensive cyber attack and threat coverage to drive full compliance and protection at all times, making it a preferred strategy to protect corporate and patient information from a data breach.