Healthcare staff shortage creates cyber security risk

The healthcare industry is chronically understaffed which is exacerbating cyber security risk, says SailPoint’s Steve Bradford, in new research report

93% of healthcare organisations have been hit by an identity-related security breach in the past two years, according to research by SailPoint, which suggests that part of this is due to understaffing.

SailPoint​’s research report ‘The State of Identity Security 2023: A Spotlight on Healthcare’ reviewed data from 150 IT and IT security decision makers from global healthcare organisations. 


Improving cyber security in healthcare

Those who responded to the survey highlighted ways in which a cyber attack had hurt their business:

  • 43% operational downtime
  • 41% compromised accounts and/or credentials
  • 36% revenue loss
  • 31% stolen company data 
  • 26% reputational damage

96% of respondents said that they needed to improve their organisation’s ability to detect and prevent identity-related security breaches.

Some offered reasons for why adopting cyber security technology was difficult:

  • 43% said flexibility in integration
  • 42% highlighted lack of the right skills to change or implement a solution
  • 39% said regulatory and compliance challenges
  • 30% apportioned blame to a lack of senior buy-in as their biggest challenge


Protecting staff and patients with cyber security technology

With the healthcare industry facing a multitude of pressures, Steve Bradford, Senior Vice President EMEA at SailPoint sees cyber risk as a threat that grows with vulnerability.  

“A breach risks serious consequences, not just affecting an organisation’s finances and reputation, but also disrupting patients from receiving the vital care and treatment they need. It can also risk breaking trust with patients since it puts confidential data on the line.  

“93% of healthcare organisations have faced an identity-security related breach in the past two years. Protecting user identities for staff and patients alike is something the industry cannot afford to compromise on. 

“Rapid digital transformation and shifts to the cloud in recent years have led to greater value now being placed on identity security in healthcare. With many organisations in the early days of maturity, they are still at risk of attack, and must seek to benefit from the right support and guidance to navigate these challenges effectively.”


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