Health Tech: 7 Email Security Strategies to Keep Patient Data Safe from Evolving Cyberattacks

Data breaches are at an all-time high, and healthcare organizations can’t afford to let patient data fall into the wrong hands. These tools and strategies can help.

The number of data breaches reported to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services hit an all-time high in 2021, with 679 incidents reported according to Critical Insight’s “2021 Healthcare Data Breach Report.” These breaches affected 45 million Americans, which was also an all-time high.

It’s no secret that medical records are valuable to cyberattackers. As Advisory Board points out, the combination of a patient’s name, address, financial information and social security number is enough to take out a loan or set up a line of credit. That’s far more than an attacker can do with an SSN or credit card number alone.

Research from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society found that phishing and ransomware are the most significant security threats for healthcare organizations.

Email-based cyberattacks have a clear and significant financial impact: Research from IBM shows that healthcare organizations spend about $9.2 million to mitigate a data breach, which is more than any other industry. Increasingly, though, the impact is also clinical. According to the Ponemon Institute, the majority of hospitals hit by ransomware report delayed care, a longer length of stay for patients and an increase in patients being sent to other facilities.

With resources scarce to prevent cyberattacks — and the consequences dire when an incident occurs —…

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