Healthcare Is Largest Sector Targeted In Cyber Attacks

February 20, 2014       The NonProfit Times      

Cyber security is becoming more important each day. How important? Former CIA chief Leon Panetta has gone on record saying that the next major attack on the U.S. might not involve bombs and guns but instead be a “cyber-Pearl Harbor.”

That might sound like a strong comparison, but any organization that has its security breached by someone looking to do harm could face consequences of epic proportions. In addition to immediate threats of monetary loss, there are threats of legal action by stakeholders whose private information has been invaded.

Speaking during the National Catholic Development Conference, Sandra Blanke, Brett Landry and John South of the University of Dallas offered cautions about cyber threats, citing not only Panetta’s warning but also the cases of Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden and the National Security Agency (NSA). They also pointed out that healthcare is the Number 1 breached sector.

Blanke, Landry and South recommended the following 10 steps to reduce cyber risk:

  • Awareness sessions, to include staff, volunteers, parents and children;
  • A privacy statement;
  • Acceptable use practice;
  • Need to know system access;
  • A mobile access device policy;
  • A password for each individual;
  • Anti-virus software;
  • Backup;
  • Storage; and,
  • A disaster recovery plan.