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Healthcare cybersecurity in 2021: Patient safety in focus, as device challenges remain


Ransomware , Zero trust The COVID-19 pandemic has tested resources and diverted resources from cybersecurity, while demonstrating the impact of cyberattacks on patient safety. (Photo by Alexander Koerner/Getty Images) A wave of transparency washed over healthcare sector headlines this year, reviving awareness and a concentrated effort on exposing the biggest weaknesses, challenges, and pain points.

A June Congressional meeting saw frontline security leaders admitting the sector just isn’t prepared to face the current scope and sophistication of attacks. At DefCon , chief information security officers from two of the largest health systems shared that there’s simply no way to secure everything in the healthcare network.

From an outside perspective, these acknowledgements would appear revelatory. But healthcare leaders have long understood their assignment: securing the healthcare infrastructure is a mountainous challenge that takes passion to make the right technology moves, while working steadily to gain Congressional support to enact real, impactful change.

These ongoing conversations have finally pushed patient safety into the foreground, more than five years since University of California San Diego Health physicians and cybersecurity research leaders Christian Dameff, MD, and Jeff Tully, MD, began sounding the alarm on the direct risks cyberattacks pose to patients and care quality.

Although there have […]

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