Healthcare firms are at greater risk than ever before from malicious cyber attacks, and should start to invest in threat intelligence reporting to combat the danger, an IDC report has warned.
Drawing on findings in the 2014 IDC Insights Cross Industry Cyber Threat Survey, the Business Strategy: Thwarting Cyber Threats and Attacks Against Healthcare Organizations report revealed that 39.4 per cent of healthcare organisations in the US had suffered more than 10 malicious cyber attack in the past 12 months, with 27.1 per cent of attacks described as “successful”. Although only covering the US, the research is likely to reflect the level of threat facing the NHS.

“For healthcare organisations, it’s not a matter of if they are going to be attacked but when,” said Lynne Dunbrack, VP of research for IDC Health Insights.
“Healthcare cyber security strategies need to take a comprehensive approach and include not only react and defend capabilities, but also predict and prevent capabilities to effectively thwart cyber criminals,” she added.
IDC suggested that hackers will begin to “cast their nets wider” to focus on health as other industries “become more proficient at thwarting cyber attacks”.
“Healthcare organisations will need to invest in threat intelligence reporting which combines reports from security vendors and the organisation’s own network logs,” said IDC.
“Predictive analytics can then be applied against these external and internal data feeds to help identify behaviours that suggest that systems are being compromised and under attack.”
According to IDC, to take a more proactive stance in protecting themselves against cyber threats and attacks, healthcare organisations will need to invest in threat intelligence reporting, which combines reports from security vendors and the organization’s own network logs. Predictive analytics can then be applied against these external and internal data feeds to help identify behaviours that suggest that systems are being compromised and under attack.
The report also revealed that 59.6 per cent of healthcare organisations have increased spending on IT security by an average of 14.8 per cent.

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