Since the onset of the COVID pandemic, cybersecurity teams have been under a much more serious strain, and menacing threats are greater, more widespread, and more costly than ever. The pandemic affected virtually every aspect of our lives, and not the least of which was sending us home or causing us to make sudden shifts in the ways in which we function both in work, in daily living, in consumerism, and even in healthcare.
Many processes which once occurred under the umbrella of in-house cybersecurity, are now remote or transient. This includes the surge in telehealth and devices which are connected or monitored remotely. All of this mobility has been highly beneficial even far beyond the need to quarantine. It’s unlikely that we’ll return to all of our old norms, however, the ease of accessibility has left additional vulnerabilities in every facet of cyber security.
Healthcare is Under (Cyber) Attack
Not only are companies with remote employees more vulnerable to attack, but so is our healthcare system, including personal medical records. This is a global problem, certainly not just specific to the US healthcare system, and we need a global solution to combat attacks and protect our privacy, as well as ensure that medical care is administered accurately, based on correct patient information.
Data breaches are a serious concern and pose potentially life threatening risks. In fact, data breaches have shown to increase a hospital’s 30-day mortality rate. As if the physical ramifications were not bad enough, data breaches also cost an average of 6.5 million dollars, or $429 per patient record, and the effects last for years following the breach.
COVID certainly did increase the risk of attacks, but it can also happen simply from the use of old, outdated devices which sometimes come from companies which are no longer in business, making updates impossible. Breaches can also come from implanted, inter-connected devices, from human errors, or from negligence of physicians simply not installing a software patch to keep their securities up to date.
Blockchain to the Rescue for Healthcare Tech
Perhaps surprisingly, the solution to these issues may be the same as the solution to security issues with cryptocurrencies, which is a use of blockchain.
Blockchain is a distributed ledger for recording transactions and tracking assets, and it actually has great potential for being used in the healthcare industry for keeping track of patient information and much more.
From incorporating blockchain into medical devices and wearables, to giving healthcare professionals and patients real time access to records and data, all while remaining in a secure fragmented system; Blockchain in health is revolutionizing tech in the medical industry.