Fighting Viruses Virtually & Onsite: Hospitals pull out all the stops to protect patients and their data
Viruses. In breaking news and IT security briefs, they can't be escaped. Particularly during 2020 and early 2021, when nurses and IT network professionals battled viruses on two fronts: electronically and physically. Rich in personal data, healthcare records fetch $1,000+ on the dark web. The coronavirus pandemic heightened the focus on equipment and facility sanitation, as well as makeshift treatment sites. For example, provisional wards in parking structures and pop-up negative pressure tents helped nurses treat COVID-19 patients while protecting general hospital populations . As healthcare professionals battled the virus on the front lines, their colleagues in IT toiled behind firewalls to prevent cybercriminals from utilizing electronic viruses to steal patient health data. In 2018, approximately 15 million patient records were hacked. In 2019, there were 510 incidents of security breaches involving at least more than 500 records at once.