Cybersecurity, mhealth

Protecting Networks and Rapidly Treating Patients a Balance in Cybersecurity

By MedTech Intelligence Staff
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Cybersecurity, mhealth

The healthcare ecosystem needs to be more proactive in managing cybersecurity risks.

As cybersecurity threats continue to rise, the pressure that healthcare facilities face in meeting high standards of patient care and outcomes remains. Medical devices themselves are a critical part of this puzzle, yet a recent survey conducted by KPMG reveals that not nearly enough partnership happens between healthcare providers and payers and medical device manufacturers.

“These devices have the potential to be both a blessing and a curse.” – KPMG report on cybersecurity in healthcare

While 87% of those surveyed said they could identify a cyber event, only 59% of them manage the risk proactively. A key action providers should take is to give device manufacturers input during the product design phase. “So many in healthcare are burdened with older processes and technologies. The legacy systems that once conferred early advantage and benefits are now making it more difficult for them to address emerging cyber-risks,” said Phil Lageschulte, partner, emerging technology risk network leader at KPMG Advisory in the firm’s report, “The Health Approach to Cybersecurity”. “Partnering with device manufacturers on risk mitigation during the technology development stage is critical to safely using innovative medical devices to treat patients.” Of the senior healthcare executives who participated in KPMG’s survey, just 56% of providers stated that they collaborate “a great deal or a fair amount” with medical device manufacturers.

“The findings indicate that companies are elevating cyber security to a strategic imperative but at a pace
that lags behind their desire to adopt digital technologies to drive innovation. Organizations need to elevate data-protection and cyber-security measures to the same level as their knowledge of risks,” the report states. “Effective cyber programs are focused on more than just compliance and threat management but also on the business value cyber can bring to the new approaches, models and capabilities that drive healthcare.”

KPMG’s cybersecurity report surveyed 100 healthcare executives on the payer and provider side and 100 life sciences executives from biopharma, pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers. The full report is available on KPMG’s website.

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