The costs of cyberattacks in the healthcare industry have the highest average data breach costs of any sector, with an average cost of a breach of 10 million dollars. But this exorbitant cost is one of many. The impact of cyberattacks on healthcare organizations reputations is a concern as well.
It is common to view corporate reputation as an intangible asset of a healthcare organization and a subject that should only concern branding experts, but this perspective is somewhat narrow.
Data breaches and other cyber threats can undermine years of excellent corporate goodwill. Data in the healthcare industry is a much more sensitive issue as it contains valuable clinical information that, in the wrong hands, can affect patient safety.
What is the relationship between cyber security and a healthcare organization’s reputation? Let’s find out.
Healthcare Cybersecurity: Safeguarding Patient’s Sensitive Data
When a healthcare provider suffers a malware attack or a phishing attack that puts at risk patient data, or that affects the ability of community health systems to deliver patient care, the mediatic repercussions, in social media or through traditional means of communication, will raise questions about the reliability of the institution.
Why does reputation matter? Why do breaches of healthcare data matter? They count because trust is essential to the delivery of care. Why? Because if patients don’t trust that a healthcare facility can guarantee information security, they will not share their data with you. Patients who don’t trust you won’t share the confidential information required to intervene and make a difference in people’s health.
Do healthcare cyberattacks have any other effect on an organization’s reputation? They do. They affect the confidence of their own staff.
Employees Mistrust: Another Cybersecurity Threat
There is also an aspect that is sometimes overlooked: the impact that cyber crime has on a healthcare organization’s staff. An example of this effect is the Kronos ransomware incident that affected employees working long hours and not getting paid for them. The repercussion of a cyber attack is particularly problematic at this time when the retention of healthcare professionals is a critical issue for all organizations.
If staff fears they will not be paid, their willingness to work for healthcare institutions at cyber risk will be much lower, and these facilities’ continuity of service will be threatened.
Healthcare Cybersecurity: An Holistic Business Asset
Healthcare IT news consistently shows the catastrophic consequences of cyberattacks. A world of increasingly connected medical devices increases the likelihood of an attack. Information protection cannot be left solely to cybersecurity professionals.
A healthcare organization’s viability can be destroyed if it does not handle an information breach properly.
This article aims to demonstrate that in addition to technological impacts and service interruptions, already worrying issues in themselves, cyberattacks have negative consequences for the confidence of a health institution to protect the data of patients and employees. In turn, this can impair the continuity of the organization.
It is essential to recognize that cybersecurity is not only a technological problem but also a business one.
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