Mitigating Health Care Cyberattacks: 5 Best Practices

Targeted Therapies in OncologyJune 02, 2024
Volume 13
Issue 8
Pages: 13

Health care organizations face a growing wave of cyberattacks and must implement strong defenses to protect patient data and ensure operational continuity.

Health care enterprises today are plagued by increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks. To combat cyber threats—the most common being hacking, ransomware, phishing, and supply chain attacks—health care organizations must proactively operationalize key risk mitigation strategies to shore up their cyber defenses.

The HIPAA Journal reported that 2023 saw a record 725 large health care security breaches reported to the US Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights, eclipsing the record of 720 health care security breaches set the previous year.1 As a result of these breaches, an average of 373,788 health care records were breached every day in 2023.

In late February, an attack on Change Healthcare (part of Optum, a UnitedHealth Group company) impacted the company’s pharmacy, medical claims, and payment systems. The outage left some doctors unable to check patients’ eligibility for treatment or prevented them from filling prescriptions electronically. The attack also extended to financial disruption for providers who were unable to receive reimbursements from insurers.

Suggestions to minimize the impact of these cyberattacks are detailed in the sidebar (right).

As cyberattacks evolve, health care organizations can protect patients and prevent operational disruptions by using these best practice risk mitigation strategies.

For the full article and more information visit,

1. Alder S. Security breaches in healthcare in 2023. HIPAA Journal. January 31, 2024. Accessed May 7, 2024.
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