Cybersecurity risks continue to grow disproportionately in healthcare as virtual care technology adoption spikes in the wake of COVID-19.  It is essential for healthcare CIOs and CISOs to evaluate their virtual care technology implementations in light of this growing risk.

Our recent webinar on the evolution of virtual care in the post-COVID era indicated that cybersecurity is a significant concern to health IT folks as virtual care becomes more prevalent; we could not agree more. Raheel Qureshi, a co-founder of cybersecurity firm iSecurity, a Dapasoft subsidiary, noted that 48 percent of all security breaches in 2019, in Canada was in healthcare.

It is not uncommon for us to see repeated and covert attempts against hospitals; in October 2019, iSecurity’s monitoring service detected 3,257 attempts to gain access to the computers at one of its client’s hospitals. The cyber threat surface area has dramatically increased due to the adoption of VC and unprotected endpoint devices.

In mid-March, the federal government’s Canadian Centre for Cybersecurity issued an alert about the elevated risk faced by health organizations involved in the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We think CISOs and CIOs of Canadian healthcare organizations should focus on reviewing their virtual care technology stack before they start integrating these solutions to their core clinical systems.  In light of the resource gap many rural health systems face, we are keen to work with rural hospitals in Ontario to review their cybersecurity threat landscape in the light of their virtual care solution use.  Please get in touch with us here.

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