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A new report from Cybersecurity Ventures puts cybersecurity spending in healthcare at $65 billion by the time 2021 rolls around. The report pegs industry growth to the rise of cloud-based data storage and telemedicine services, such as teledentistry. The news follows the recent Wancry cyber attack that crippled Englandâ€™s National Health Service.
With so much focus on expanding teledentistry services for patients across the country, the integration of cloud-based data storage into dental practices, and the threats to these systems, it’s no wonder that the cybersecurity industry is predicted to experience substantial growth. From 2017 to 2021, healthcare cybersecurity spending — including spending in dentistry – is forecast to grow to $65 billion. This is based on predictions that the number of ransomware attacks, like the one that recently crippled England’s National Health Service (NHS), will quadruple by 2020.
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According to Cybersecurity Ventures, the healthcare cybersecurity market will grow by as much as 15 percent through 2021. Because of the risks to patient data and other digital healthcare information, governments across the world are expected to increase scrutiny of the industry and adopt or revise regulations requiring organizations to use the latest security technology available. Healthcare providers are also expected to begin demanding more from their IT service providers, including strong security features that will help protect the electronic health information of their patients.
While hospital systems might be more vulnerable than smaller healthcare or dental facilities, the fact remains that, as the industry continues to move to digital information systems, threats from hackers remain a very real danger. Steve Morgan, founder and Editor-in-Chief at Cybersecurity Ventures, says, “Outdated systems, lack of experienced cyber personnel, highly valuable data, and added incentive to pay ransoms in order to regain patient data, are magnetizing hackers to the healthcare market.”
One of the most effective ways dental and other healthcare organizations can stave off cyberattacks is to simply be prepared. Cybersecurity threats have become a way of life, and, for healthcare organizations, they will continue to become more sophisticated and less easily avoidable.
The key to protecting patient data is to be equipped with the right technology tools that can help make such attacks more likely to fail. Morgan says, “Healthcare organizations have lagged the market in cyber defense spending, and they’ve suffered for it. They’ve been hacked into spending. Security has become just as important, if not more important, than digitizing patient records.”