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How tech pros can protect sensitive healthcare data from cyber threat

Acronis has published a new whitepaper that updates the key principles and strategies for protecting sensitive or personal data in the healthcare sector.

Titled “How healthcare tech professionals can protect sensitive data in the new era of cyber threats“, the resource focuses on seven key challenges for healthcare IT: data breaches; malware threats like ransomware and cryptojacking; compliance; cloud migrations; data availability; mobility; and complexity around data protection infrastructures.

According to Acronis, survival in the face of these challenges means taking a new approach to safeguarding data, based on five vectors of cyber protection: safety, accessibility, privacy, authenticity and security, in a time of rapid digital transformation, big data, growing interoperability needs and increased scrutiny.

The paper notes that balancing all these different factors can be tricky, especially when facing off armies of cybercriminals determined to steal valuable healthcare data and hold it for ransom.

“Healthcare institutions are expected to enable complex new applications, drive down costs, and improve patient outcomes – all while fighting off broad IT challenges like staff retention, cloud migration, and the proliferation of mobile and IoT devices.”

Acronis, which offers an array of cyber protection, storage, secure file sync-and-share, and disaster recovery solutions optimised for the healthcare sector, points to Information Technology Intelligence Consulting figures that suggest a single hour of downtime costs more than $100,000 for most organisations in the private sector.

“The healthcare industry is undergoing a pivotal digital transformation, moving from antiquated methods of storing patient information to adopting new data-intensive diagnostic and treatment applications,” Acronis notes.

“The sheer volume of sensitive healthcare data is growing and spreading across physical locations, computing devices, and networks (including private and public clouds). Important new healthcare applications like telemedicine, remote patient monitoring, and virtual- and assisted reality-based training are adding to the flood of data.”

Other emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), the Internet of Things (IoT), and blockchain further complicate the puzzle, Acronis says.

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