Healthcare bodies more concerned now about insider data thefts than before COVID - The EE

Healthcare bodies more concerned now about insider data thefts than before COVID

lia Sotnikov of Netwrix

Being on the front line of the battle to contain COVID-19, healthcare organisations have had to revise their cybersecurity priorities more quickly than most other sectors.

Pre-pandemic, they were mostly concerned about employees accidently sharing sensitive data (88%) and rogue admins (80%); today they are worried about phishing (87%), admin mistakes (71%) and data theft by employees (71%).

This is according to the 2020 Cyber Threats Report from Netwrix, a cybersecurity vendor. Netwrix conducted an online survey in June 2020 to understand how the pandemic and ensuing work-from-home initiatives changed the IT risk landscape.

As it turns out, the organisations’ perceptions of risk are both founded and unfounded, says Netwrix.

They are correct to be concerned about phishing and IT staff errors, since those types of incidents were experienced by 37% and 39% of respondents, respectively, during the first few months of the pandemic. However, even though 37% suffered improper data sharing, concern about this risk plummeted by 32% points since the pandemic began.

Other findings from the survey include:

  • Almost a third of healthcare organisations (32%) experienced a ransomware attack – the highest result among all industries studied
  • 26% of healthcare organisations reported data theft by employees; 49% of them were unaware of the incident for weeks or months
  • Concern about supply chain compromise dropped by a record 50% points from the pre-pandemic level; now, only 25% say it is a top security threat
  • No respondents were able to discover improper data sharing in minutes. 26% needed hours and 74% had to spend days, weeks or months to flag the incident
  • 8 out of 10 healthcare organisations regularly report on the state on cybersecurity to executive leadership, and 47% are convinced it takes too much time and effort

“With 39% of healthcare organisations experiencing incidents due to errors by IT staff, this industry should pay particular attention to the activities of privileged users. Even one mistake can bring the entire organisation to a standstill, leaving it unable to take care of patients. To mitigate the risk of admin mistakes, it is essential to rigorously enforce the least privilege principle through regular privilege attestation. To ensure quick detection of unauthorised modifications, healthcare organisations are advised to automate both monitoring of changes and checking of all system configurations against a healthy baseline,” says Ilia Sotnikov, VP of product management at Netwrix.

Netwrix aims to make data security easy, thereby simplifying how professionals can control sensitive, regulated and business-critical data, regardless of where it resides.

To get the complete findings of the Netwrix 2020 Cyber Threats Report, please visit:

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