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When it comes to healthcare cybersecurity, the best defense is also the most simple

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Along with Covid-19, healthcare providers had to contend with another faceless enemy in 2020: cybercriminals.

Cybercrime in the healthcare industry has grown steadily over the years, but in 2020, it spiked significantly. There were nearly 600 healthcare data breaches last year, a 55% jump from 2019, according to a recent report from Bitglass . Hacking and IT incidents led to 67.3% of all healthcare breaches. Several health systems too became victims, including King of Prussia, Pennsylvania-based Universal Health Services and Pittsburgh-based UPMC .

As with diseases, prevention is better than cure for cybercrime too. According to cybersecurity experts, there are two simple steps providers can take to prevent cyberattacks — implementing multi-factor authentication for their systems and educating their staff.

But first, it might be helpful to know the cause for the increase in cybercrime.

The pandemic, and the concurrent shift to remote work, is one of the reasons for the heightened risk of healthcare cyberattacks, said Sharon Klein, partner at Troutman Pepper and member of the Department of Health and Human Services’ CSA 405(d) Task Group, in a phone interview. The task force was convened to develop cybersecurity practices.

“We’re all working remotely, folks’ eyes were sort of off the ball for a […]

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