Healthcare industry prepares for foundational cloud transformation as cyberthreats aggravate

By Komal Akulwar, Senior Analyst, Infoblox

Komal Akulwar, Senior Analyst, Infoblox

As part of the effort to better understand cybersecurity and network infrastructure challenges across industries, Infoblox and CyberRisk Alliance recently released a report that examined the specific challenges faced by decision-makers in the healthcare industry. One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, the report reveals the major challenges this critical industry faced as healthcare IT workers scrambled to secure protected health information (PHI) and critical infrastructure against the pandemic’s complex cybersecurity and networking challenges.

Based on responses from nearly 800 healthcare IT decision-makers in North America, Latin America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, key survey findings include:

  • Data breaches and network outages are a real and growing cost for the industry: Nearly half (43%) of respondents estimated the costs of data breaches would exceed $2 million and more than one-third (34%) said the same for network outages.
  • The healthcare Industry is a target: Over half of respondents (52%) suffered a data breach in the past year.
  • Attackers are focusing on the cloud: Cloud vulnerabilities and misconfigurations, IoT attacks and data manipulation are the most expected cyberthreats the industry faces in the next 12 months, each cited by nearly 20% of respondents.
  • Cloud networks remain vulnerable: 53% of respondents experienced data breaches in cloud networks, the biggest attack vector from the past year.
  • Knowledge is half the battle: Respondents cited network monitoring (71% of respondents) and threat intelligence (61%) as the most effective mitigation tactics against the threats they faced in 2020.

The survey also found that financial losses from network outages tend to be only marginally lower than those from data breaches, demonstrating that losses from normal business interruptions can be as damaging as those from hacks. Respondents universally recognized that the costs of prevention were lower than the significant direct and indirect costs of these events (for example, fines, equipment replacement, victim remediation, loss of reputation and customer losses).

“The coronavirus pandemic continues to highlight the unique cybersecurity needs of the healthcare industry, even as it has increased the number of threats these organizations face,” said Anthony James, VP of Product Marketing, Infoblox. “PHI is both highly prized by cyber criminals and strictly regulated by governments, raising the stakes for the industry as it adapts cloud-first technologies in response to the shutdown’s remote work mandate.”

“Fortunately, the industry recognizes the need—and value—of prevention when it comes to protecting this critical data and understands that DNS is one of the most cost-effective ways to secure their networks from a variety of malicious threats before they infiltrate the network,” James continued. “BloxOne Threat Defense can securely extend a customer’s network into the cloud and leverages insights from DNS traffic, as well as other threat intelligence feeds and mitigation tools to provide defense-in-depth for on-premises and remote network architectures.”

As the healthcare organizations continue to transform their workplaces to tackle contemporary challenges, they are finding foundational cloud-managed network services to be a cost-effective and strategic investment, one that pays exponential future dividends. These solutions can help organizations begin their cloud transformation immediately, mitigate some of the most pressing network vulnerabilities,  simplify network management and automate critical tasks.