The healthcare sector in the United States has faced many challenges due to the increased activity of cybercriminals, particularly since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. This means that there should be even greater resources committed to ensuring that staff are provided with the right level of training in relation to their obligations under the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
If your organization is not currently implementing a robust HIPAA training process for new and full-time members of your team then you are running the risk of a cybersecurity attack infiltrating your systems and a potential massive HIPAA fine being sanctioned against your organization. If this is not enough to convince you to take HIPAA training seriously, we have compiled five more reasons for you to consider.
1. 2020 was the Worst Year on Record for Data Privacy Breaches
Sadly, this is reflective of the trends that have been recorded over the last few years. In 2020, 616 data breaches of 500 or more files were made known to the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR). These breaches impacted 28,756,445 individuals.
This increase is clearly depicted in the chart below. The steep increase in the last two years is very noticeable. Hackers have doubled-down on their efforts during 2020 as the majority of the world’s office workforce moved to work remotely following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This resulted in serious weaknesses in the cybersecurity measures of all companies and groups, many of which are still to be addressed. Simple measures like providing HIPAA training sessions online can go a large way towards keeping your company safe from the best tactics of cybercriminals, phishers and hackers.
2. Small-to-Medium Sized Practices are Popular Targets for Cybercriminals
2020 also witnessed a sharp increase in the amount of attacks that targets small-to-medium sized healthcare groups. Ransomware response firm Coveware captured data during the third quarter of the year which indicated that more than two thirds of attacks were focusing on groups with less than 1,000 employees and 65.9% of ransomware attacks launched during Q4 were focused on infiltrating the databases of small (30.2%) and medium (35.7%) sized companies. See the graph below for more detail.
The ransomware strains that are targeting small-to-medium sized groups include Dharma, Snitch, and Netwalker ransomware operations. The attraction of infiltrating smaller organizations is that they tend not to have a strong cybersecurity defenses in place, despite holding large amounts of sensitive data in their databases. Due to this the potential for ransomware gangs to make an easy and quick profit is much higher.
3. HIPAA Compliance Efforts are Taken into Account Following HIPAA Breaches
4. Undoing Brand Damage Caused by a HIPAA Breach is Difficult
5. Data Privacy Legislation Requirements Around the World are Increasing
In order for your organization to remain safe from HIPAA breaches, and the resulting massive HIPAA penalties, then it is vital for your organization to implement an appropriate regime of HIPAA training for your new and existing staff. If you would like to preview the HIPAA training offered by ComplianceJunction please complete the form below.