The Covid-19 pandemic did not just disrupt the lives of people across the African continent but also had a major impact on the industrial sector and its security. Moreso, the healthcare sector that was already hit by the pandemic has been crippled by the consistently breeding cyber-crime. The Healthcare sector is one of the verticals in Africa that remains vulnerable to security practices, considering the sector’s inability to incorporate technology completely to fill its gaps.
With cyber-breach entering into the most sophisticated systems and networks in Africa, cyber-security is extending its urgency of attention. Healthcare, being on the top of the worst-hit list of a data security breach due to the lack of protective gear on it is also posing the biggest risk to its customers. The Healthcare industry has the largest database of patients’ information and a potential leak is a major threat to the personal information of the people across Africa.
With ransomware being the worst contributor of cyber-crime in the medical industry of Africa, it continues to worsen the industry over time. It leverages data and steals employee passwords, patients’ critical information, and crucial medical details to extract a ransom.
It becomes pertinent for the Healthcare industry in the African continent to deploy a data breach protection that compounds every single risk factor involved and impedes the compromise of sensitive information.
Let’s get into the ways Healthcare Cybersecurity in Africa must get vigilant in reducing the risk of data breaches:
- Employee training: The task force of an organization can be made its biggest asset if trained in the right direction. Hospital employees across Africa must be made aware of the policies in cyber-security so they do not fall prey to malicious attempts. Insider threat protection is a major concern in the Healthcare industry, with unguarded security systems. This vulnerability can cause the healthcare industry not just a massive loss of finances but also the loss of trust that ruins its reputation.
- Risk Assessment and Contingency Plan: Keeping a contingency plan in place and doing a thorough risk assessment is the spine of any industry for data breach protection. Finding vulnerabilities in the system yourself while deploying a security blanket and devising a contingency plan for it is the wisest way to avoid cyber-attacks.
- Devising a Response team: Healthcare industry contains the maximum records of people and a leak compromises every personal detail and the most sensitive information. The possibility of witnessing a cyber-attacks must bever be avoided and to counter it, a response team must exist in the organization. A response team will immediately start functioning in an event of an attack and will restrict the impact of its spread. This will save the entire data from being compromised and determine your proactive approach towards cyber-safety.
- Restricting Authorization: Not every employee must be authorized to access everything. No limitations in information access is a major reason for cyber-attacks in the Healthcare industry. With the enormous amount of confidential data this industry carries, a small failure to its security system is a potential risk to the patient’s confidentiality.
- Using Software tools: The negligence of investing in high-quality tools, which tend to cost more, is a defining reason for the cyber-security failure in the Healthcare industry. Not only must the software tools be of prime quality but also must be kept up-to-date. Organizations must keep their internal and external security intact by adding layers of security blanket to it. This basic step can save millions and the reputation of this industry from a data-security breach.
Moreover, prioritising the vulnerable gaps in the medical industry that compromise healthcare organizations through the evolving technology is one step ahead in improving the situation.