Survey: Health care cybersecurity needs work

PROVIDENCE – Kaspersky Lab, which has offices in Massachusetts, conducted a survey showing that 33 percent of health care organization employees in the U.S. and Canada who reported a ransomware cybersecurity attack say it happened more than once.

“The research shows that the industry is not learning from its mistakes, and continues to suffer,” according to a Kaspersky news release.

The report, “Cyber Pulse: The State of Cybersecurity in Healthcare,” says that 27 percent of health care employees in North America admit a ransomware cybersecurity attack in the past year. Of those, 78 percent say there have been up to five cybersecurity attacks in the past five years or more at their place of work.

However, health care employees do care about the protection of their organizations, according to the report.

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Seventy-one percent of employees say patient protection is the top reason they care about having cybersecurity at work. Sixty percent say they care because they want to protect people and organizations they work with; 31 percent of respondents say they care because they do not want to lose their job as a result of not having appropriate cybersecurity practices in place.

“Health care employees in North America were confident that their organization would not suffer a data breach in the forthcoming year, but whether they realize it or not, their industry is suffering hundreds of breaches a year,” said Rob Cataldo, vice president of enterprise sales at Kaspersky Lab.

“Health care companies have become a major target for cybercriminals due to the successes they’ve had, and repeatedly have, in attacking these businesses,” he added. “Business leaders and [information technology] personnel need to work together to create a balance of training, education and security solutions strong enough to manage the risk.”

More than 1,700 employees were surveyed in the U.S. and Canada, in roles ranging from doctors and surgeons to administrators and staff, according to Kaspersky.

Susan Shalhoub is a PBN contributing writer.