Why Cybersecurity is the Heart of a Senior Living Facility’s Success

Hundreds of healthcare organizations are hacked annually, affecting millions of American lives, according to a recent healthcare breach report issued by the federal government.

What’s a stake? Just ask Henderson, Kentucky-based Methodist Hospital, which put itself on an “internal state of emergency” after a ransomware attack “rattled around inside its networks, encrypting files on computer systems and holding the data on them hostage unless and until the hospital pays up,” according to Krebs on Security. Methodist hospital wasn’t the only one to face this latest cybersecurity threat from ransomware—several California hospitals were under siege, as well.

The issue has drawn attention from federal regulators on ways to prevent ransomware attacks, which make healthcare organizations particularly vulnerable.

Companies are spending increasing amounts on cybersecurity tools, but aren’t convinced their data is truly secure, and many chief information security officers believe that attackers are gaining on their defenses, a Rand Corporation study shows. The survey, based on interviews with company chief information officers, found that CIOs were concerned about their companies’ reputations, when they take a hit with a high-profile cybersecurity attack.

For non-healthcare organizations, loss of reputation might be their top fear. But for healthcare providers, it’s both. Obviously, the most precious thing at stake are patients’ lives, when a physician is unable to access a patient’s data during a critical time of care. Reputation is another loss, and an important one, as well. Patients are healthcare shoppers, now. They use the internet to select their providers and senior living homes. A cybersecurity breach puts an organization in a situation to potentially lose revenue through new residents and patients.

Cybersecurity is at the heart of success for senior living communities

Senior living homes provide a source of refuge, safety, comfort and care. It is a place where seniors thrive in a community environment that empowers them to reach their goals, living life to the fullest. Part of that full life is based on an active social media involvement with family and the outside world. Cybersecurity is essential to all of that.

Senior residents expect the software used to keep their health records, personal records, and any other personal electronic data to be perfectly secure. No matter how difficult this matter of security is, they will have little tolerance for a breach, though more and more organizations are facing attacks. Cybersecurity is a testament to safety all the way around. It is essential for a senior living home’s survival.

A new study by Symantec found that 150 billion was lost globally to cybercrime over the last year, and now at least 80 percent of people are worried about cyber crime, reports Yahoo Finance in an article about baby boomers and cybersecurity. This is not a surprise. Baby boomers are retiring at a rapid rate and have very specific plans for their golden years. Baby boomers have high expectations. The survey found baby boomers are more likely than their younger counterparts to take personal cybersecurity measures.

If boomers are most likely to be cyber-conscious, how much more alert will they expect their senior living community to be?

How are you taking measures to keep data safe at your community?

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