In a hyper-connected world, no organization is immune to cybercrime. In many respects, no sector is more vulnerable to attack than the healthcare industry. Network managers, provider administrators, and healthcare service providers are targets of relentless attack. Too often they are the least prepared.

In this article, we discuss the general landscape of network security in the healthcare sector. We then examine specific incidents to learn how to best protect against and recover from data breaches.

The Special Case of Healthcare in the Fight Against Data Breaches

It’s logical that healthcare data attracts the attention of cybercriminals. As the 2020 Healthcare Breach Report from Bitglass points out, the vast majority of healthcare providers store and process protected health information (PHI). These data include social security numbers, financial, and, of course, health information. It is a readily available target for malicious cybercriminals.

According to a July 2019 article in Healthcare IT News, the healthcare industry has endured the highest cost per incident for nine years running. At an average cost of $6.5 million, the impact is “more than 60 percent higher than other industries,” according to the article.

Christopher Scott, Global Remediation Lead and CTO for IBM X-Force IRIS, told Healthcare IT News how healthcare data is a prime target among cybercriminals because of the “excellent resale value” of PHI:

“Unlike passwords that can be changed or credit cards that can be reset with an expiration date,’ Scott expl