While it’s difficult to predict when and where cybersecurity breaches will hit healthcare organizations, due to the proliferation of this issue in the medical space, it is critical for key stakeholders at health organizations to do their part in helping curb the problem.

Healthcare delivery organizations (HDOs) are facing a cybersecurity pandemic. Every year, the number of attacks and incidents continues to exponentially grow and cause significant financial impact on an already stressed industry. There’s already a 40% increase in the number of reported breaches in the first four months of this year over last. That’s the good news.

Ransomware is rendering electronic medical records and other critical data and systems useless, which significantly impacts the ability of HDOs to deliver timely care or, in some cases, continue to operate. The University of Vermont Medical Center reported losing over $60 million in revenues due to a ransomware attack in October 2020. Less than a year later, Scripps, a $3.1 billion not-for-profit healthcare organization based in San Diego, reported losing over $100 million in lost revenue due to ransomware.

Two independent studies last year attributed hospital cyberattacks to reduced care capacity and worsened health outcomes including delays in procedures and tests, longer hospital stays, diversion of patients to other facilities and increased mortality. Given these trends, HDOs must assign accountability for cybersecurity to their boards of directors.

Read the full article at Forbes.