DSA Connect - Cybersecurity risks in healthcare

Cybersecurity risks in healthcare


Don’t get caught out by common attacks, take action before it is too late!

The healthcare sector is becoming more prone to cyber-attacks as private health information is becoming increasingly sought after and therefore more valuable on the black market, comparing it to financial records and personally identifiable information. With the collection and storage of large amounts of patient data and medical records, it is critical that the cybersecurity risks in healthcare are well understood and secure ICT infrastructure is in place to prevent the risk of being hacked by outside sources. 

Offering a large platform of data that lends itself to particular scams, the healthcare industry is often targetted by a range of attacks, including:

Phishing scheme

Phishing schemes involve unauthorised personnel planting malicious scripts on computers that steal secure data such as staff or authorised personnel login information. These include scam emails sent from seemingly reputable sources with authentic branding or information requesting a user to login. 

Malware scheme

Malware schemes see hackers taking control of individual devices, company servers or entire networks. By taking control, the hacker shuts down entire systems and bribes companies to remove the encryption code causing the system failure.

Unsecure portable devices

It is becoming very common for staff to use personal devices for work-related tasks, whether it be a mobile phone, tablet or laptop. However, these devices often do not meet the required security standards, leaving personal networks vulnerable to malware and hackers. Allowing personal devices to be used in the workplace runs the risk of unauthorised access if the device is stolen or lost. 

Unrestricted computers

Computers with access to confidential health care records should never be left unattended as this provides easy and direct access to private information. At the end of the working day, all electronic devices should be locked in a secure facility.

Inadequate disposal of hardware

Old, redundant or unused equipment holds the data stored on the device until it is effectively wiped clean. While it is thought that deleting data from a device is sufficient, it isn’t. To comply with GDPR standards, electronic devices are to be permanently cleaned using certified data destruction and data erasure tools.

A few simple steps to prevent cybersecurity risks in healthcare

By taking early action and being aware of the cybersecurity risks in healthcare the industry can reduce the likelihood of a security breach, protecting both patients and staff.

Employee education

Keep staff informed about the risks of a data breach, not only for the business and patients but also for themselves. Create an understanding of the role in which all staff play and provide knowledge of the consequential impacts that can result from negligence. This will entice staff to keep themselves and those surrounding them safe. Staff training will allow an opportunity to train employees on new systems, software upgrades and best practices.

Establish procedures and protocol

Minimise the risk of unauthorised personnel gaining access to confidential data by controlling access made available to staff – only provide necessary access. As a company, it is important to generate a positive security culture and set protocols for the event of a security breach and the effective use of personal devices. This can be achieved by emphasising the importance and responsibility of data protection, educating the risks and responsibilities.

Software upgrades

A key entry point for hackers is through security holes present in outdated or weak software points. It is recommended that two-factor authentication is used and good computer habits are maintained, such as password best practices. Staff should be required to update their password periodically and guided towards using strong passwords, as research shows that 63% of confirmed breaches have involved weak passwords.

Data removal

Safely remove all unused or redundant data from old devices – simply deleting private information is not enough! Comply with GDPR standards and permanently destruct, erase and remove un-required information. DSA Connect removes redundant IT equipment for the destruction of data, on or off-site. 


Results of a data breach can be catastrophic to an organisation, remove the cybersecurity risks in healthcare by taking appropriate action to protect patients and staff. DSA Connect will help to protect confidential information with the safe and effective removal of data. Our data destruction, erasure and IT removal services are compliant with GDPR standards and come with certifications of verification. Contact DSA Connect today!

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