Join Mike Swyt, chief information security officer, and Sonia Gupta, MD, chief medical officer  at Change Healthcare, as they discuss practical steps that healthcare executives can take to safeguard their enterprise imaging data and prevent cyberthreats from impacting  patient care.

The healthcare industry is highly prone to cybersecurity attacks. In the past year, serious security incidents increased by 70%. These incidents are deemed “serious” for several reasons, including data breaches and high cost. Whenever a hospital experiences a breach, the costs average around $9.2 million per incident. Read on to discover practical ways to prevent a cybersecurity attack on your enterprise cloud imaging data.

Between phishing emails, outdated systems, and unprotected hardware, many vulnerabilities and entry points exist within healthcare systems. These vulnerabilities leave the hospital open to worst-case scenarios, such as shutting down an ER or a critical system (like radiology) and diverting patients to other facilities.

Enhance security to improve speed and scalability

Being in a cloud-native multi-tenant environment—one that offers seamless updates in the background and follows the highest security rigor with third-party certification—provides you with a highly secure imaging environment. Offering third-party certification to address cybersecurity challenges is key. By helping customers move to  cloud-native and having them on the latest version, we help protect valuable patient data, proactively address security issues, and prevent hackers from attacking legacy systems that might be vulnarable.

Behind EHRs, imaging data is the second largest data set in healthcare. By reducing vulnerabilities to outdated and underprotected systems, hospitals can enable a more secure environment for keeping patient data safe. With cloud innovation, security updates happen seamlessly in the background. In other words, improved efficiency is an enhanced technology output. Cloud-native architecture eliminates the need for hospital IT managed hardware and software updates because it lets organizations elastically scale and automatically stay on the latest version. Cloud-native architecture offers speed, security, and scalability—all critical functions for clinicians seeking workflow efficiency.

Cloud-native innovation’s benefits extend beyond cybersecurity and workflow efficiency to address other concerns prevalent throughout enterprise imaging. For example, clinicians’ number one concern is delivering patient care, and downtime prevents care delivery. Because multi-tenant cloud-native innovation eliminates the disruptive nature of updates that can take down a PACs system, clinicians are not stressed by the updates. Instead, updates are integrated into the system seamlessly. Clinicians don’t even know they’re happening and care is delivered without interruption. 

Preventive measures to ensure a more secure environment

For starters, organizations can shore up their technical debt by updating their imaging systems. Doing so can also help prevent a bigger issue of cleaning up and catching up on security issues. It’s also important to implement two-factor access to data to strengthen the systems’ access controls.

In addition to updating systems and strengthening access controls, it’s critical to develop a robust training culture that continually teaches employees how to spot sophisticated phishing emails and other social engineering attacks. One email is all it takes to penetrate and shut down a hospital system and cost an organization millions. 

Also organizations can look at each solution’s cloud infrastructure provider and how that entity is securing the cloud environment and ask about the standards they are applying. Those using third-party certification and standards alignment—which indicates what security protocols are in place—are using the highest standards and are engaged in the best security practices.

As the developer of the first major cloud-native enterpise imaging platform, Change Healthcare has the infrastructure, network, and expertise to help you stay secure, speedy, and ready to scale.


Dr. Sonia Gupta

Dr. Sonia Gupta is the chief medical officer of Change Healthcare and an Abdominal Radiologist at Radiologist Associates of Florida (RAF). Dr. Gupta has advised and consulted for multiple Fortune 500 companies and start-ups. She is a member of the Forbes Business Council and  an editorial board member of Applied Radiology. Dr. Gupta is a frequent keynote speaker and educator with former faculty appointments at Harvard Medical School and Temple University School of Medicine. Dr. Gupta is passionate about the possibilities of AI in healthcare and mentoring the next generation of physicians.

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