Healthcare Industry Is Facing a Dangerous Security IT Talent Gap

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We’ve said it before: The IT skills gap poses many potential problems for business executives regardless of which industries they work in. Let’s take a deeper look at how it’s affecting those in health care organizations specifically.

What is the current state of health care IT talent, especially in terms of cybersecurity?

Taking strides toward digital transformation is the goal for many business executives looking to leverage IT to their advantages, and health care providers are no exception. Technology is improving health care, offering industry insiders and patients alike many benefits. However, with more technology comes more connectivity, and, unfortunately, these connections come with benefits and risks.

Digital records, for example, are more convenient and easy to manage than their paper counterparts. On the other hand, though, due to the inherent nature of storing personal and sensitive information in health care records, they’re also targets for cyberattacks.  The reality is that many health care providers simply don’t have the resources to deal with the growing security threats digitalization presents, a problem partly caused by the IT talent shortage and cybersecurity skills gap. The cybersecurity workforce gap is “on pace” to reach 1.8 million by 2022, and health care executives will likely feel the impact. Why is this incredibly problematic?

What’s at risk when health care organizations lack cybersecurity?

Breaches are costly: In addition to lost consumer trust and ongoing brand damage, health care providers can also face compliance fines and related penalties. A successful breach in a health care organization can cost millions. The biggest concern, however, is attacks on health care extend beyond organizational costs. According to Herjavec Group CTO Atif Gauri, “Healthcare is the most hacked vertical we’re seeing right now and what makes this industry different is that it affects everyone not just financially but personally.” The top five threats health care executives face include:

  1. Ransomware
  2. Outside human threats
  3. Advanced persistent threats
  4. Lost patient information
  5. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks

Facing the current threatscape and potential consequences, how can health care executives protect their organizations and sensitive patient information without enough dedicated, experienced cybersecurity staff to go around?

Bridging the gap

The first step requires a shift in mindsets: Savvy health care executives see IT security as an enabler and business differentiator rather than a cost center. This is especially important for those working in such a targeted vertical. Investing in efficient cybersecurity can move health care executives form reactive security approaches to proactive ones. Too often business decision-makers learn the hard way, taking greater action after the damage is done. Fortunately, more industry insiders are taking note: According to the Cybersecurity Ventures report, from 2017 to 2021 health care executives will likely spend a cumulative total of more than $65 billion on cybersecurity globally.

Remember human error cause by those without malicious intentions is a big part of the problem. Invest in ongoing employee training to instill the holistic and necessary view that security is everyone’s responsibility. In addition, don’t go it alone. Perhaps the best way to combat the talent shortage is by leveraging experienced professionals outside your organization. Consider the expert consulting, implementation, and cybersecurity services a managed security services provider (MSSP) can offer. MSSPs enable health care executives to harness the power of experienced IT cybersecurity staff while focusing on their core business: health care. Are you ready to bridge the gap?

Capital Techies is an award-winning managed security services provider, and our experts can help you achieve business goals while simultaneously helping to bridge your cybersecurity skills gap. Not sure where to start? Ask the experts at Capital Techies to help you create the ideal solution for improving your business processes. Call us today at 571-982-6000 or visit us online.


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