Every organization should have a business continuity plan in place to mitigate risks and minimize exposure to financial losses after a data breach. For those in healthcare, the stakes are even higher. Healthcare organizations are more vulnerable to ransomware attacks, and they have a greater responsibility to protect data because of the nature of their work.
Healthcare IT decision-makers and administrators need to understand how incredibly vital a comprehensive business continuity plan is in today’s threat environment so they can take the necessary steps to protect data.
Healthcare is a target for ransomware attacks
Ransomware attacks disproportionately hit healthcare organizations. One of the reasons for this is, the organizations themselves need access to records to treat patients. A hacker knows patient data is essential for healthcare professionals to care for patients. Stealing it and holding it for ransom puts hospitals and clinics in a difficult position. Without electronic health records (EHRs), doctors could put their patient’s well-being at risk – a study published in 2019 concluded that data breaches are associated with increased mortality rates.
Since 2016, 1,500 hospitals, clinics, medical testing facilities, and other healthcare companies have been victims of an attack. The overall cost of these attacks totaled $157 million, and they impacted 6.6 million patients.
With a business continuity plan, healthcare companies have a system in place to recover vital data. Even if a hacker steals data, your teams can continue caring for patients, and your operations don’t have to come to a grinding halt.
Patients trust healthcare providers with their data
Another reason healthcare organizations need to prioritize business continuity is patient trust. You don’t want to lose it. However, if you lose health records and personal information, they’re going to lose confidence in your practice.
To maintain patient trust, have a plan in place, so you’re able to quickly recover data in the event of a cyberattack, outage, or another disaster. Let your patients know your organization has done everything possible to keep their data safe. You can do this through your website or email messages to patients, which can instill even greater confidence in your company.
Any downtime can be expensive and cause poor patient care
If data is stolen or lost or your on-premise systems are down, your organization can’t function. Downtime can wreak havoc on your company’s financial and operational health. Business disruption, revenue loss, and a decrease in internal productivity can lead to huge losses. This is where business continuity planning comes in to save the day. With the right strategy, you can avoid downtime and always ensure you’re able to provide a high level of care.
Be ready for the unexpected to deliver better care
You can’t predict when a disaster will happen. What you can do is be prepared and dramatically reduce risk. A business continuity plan puts your organization in control in the event of a ransomware attack, disaster, or another issue. It involves identifying what processes are necessary to ensure continued service and outlines how they’ll be implemented.
Partner with an IT provider that understands your needs as a healthcare organization and create a strategy that works for your company. With business continuity, you have a set of procedures to fall back on to recover data, prevent catastrophic losses, and to keep your clinic or hospital running smoothly. In healthcare, where your patients count on your organization to protect their health, and their data, nothing could be more important.