SOTI Research Shows 78% of Global Healthcare Providers Experienced One or More Security Breaches Since 2021
95% of IT professionals said their organization had legacy technology, with top three concerns being security attacks (37%), too much time spent fixing issues (36%) and inability to quickly access patient data (31%)
Mississauga, CANADA – June 27, 2023 – As the healthcare sector continues to digitize processes and data, there is an increase in adoption of technology in the workplace. This challenges IT professionals to manage a diverse portfolio of devices which creates significant security concerns. New global research from SOTI, The Technology Lifeline: Charting Digital Progress in Healthcare, highlights the scale of the security risks, with 78% of global healthcare providers in frontline services experiencing at least one data breach since 2021.
According to SOTI’s research, there was an 11% year-over-year increase in healthcare IT professionals who had experienced a data breach in the last two years. IT security incidents saw a growth of 15% in accidental data leaks from employees. This led to a rise in overall data leaks from employees, with 55% of healthcare organizations having experienced a planned or accidental data leak in the last year and 52% experiencing a data breach from an outside source or DDoS attack.
"The consequences of security breaches in the healthcare sector go beyond the financial costs and regulatory penalties. Data security breaches in the healthcare sector not only compromise sensitive patient and worker information but can also erode trust between patients and their healthcare providers,” said Shash Anand, SVP of Product Strategy at SOTI.
SOTI surveyed 1,450 healthcare IT professionals across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, UK, Germany, France, Sweden, Netherlands and Australia. The report gains insight into the evolving landscape of healthcare technology adoption, exploring the impact of increasing technology implementation, the range of devices used and what challenges and security risks remain.
The Proliferation of Unmanaged Devices in Healthcare Creates Security Vulnerabilities
The scale and diversification of device implementation across the healthcare sector continues to grow, with 47% of IT professionals reporting an increase in the mix of devices (mobile devices, tablets, rugged devices and printers) used in their healthcare organization in the past year. 36% of IT professionals also reported an increase in the use of personal devices to access company systems and network.
“However, while 76% of healthcare IT professionals reported that their organizations used tablets or laptops and 72% used smartphones, the absence of direct management or monitoring by IT departments for any device can pose significant data security risks. Additionally, without proper oversight and maintenance, device malfunctions or compatibility issues can undermine critical healthcare processes, hindering a worker’s ability to deliver timely and accurate care,” commented Anand.
The risks posed by outdated or legacy systems in the healthcare sector also cannot be overlooked, with 37% of healthcare IT workers agreeing that these devices and systems expose their networks to security attacks.
"Amidst the rapid adoption of a diverse range of devices in healthcare to improve patient care outcomes, the industry is facing an alarming imbalance between technological advancements and necessary resources to manage and secure these devices. The growing complexity of device management, including managing legacy systems, requires urgent attention and adequate investment in resources to mitigate potential vulnerabilities and protect sensitive healthcare data."
“Healthcare organizations need a robust device management solution with strong security protection. Any solution should provide enhanced visibility, security and management of devices used to offer patient care, with the ability to remotely manage and shut them down during a security breach,” said Anand.
Expansion of New Technologies Means Device Downtime Must be Addressed
While security concerns are present in the healthcare sector, 93% of all IT professionals indicated that usage of new technologies was a priority to improve organizational efficiency and productivity. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality (VR) are being actively investigated in the healthcare sector, with three-quarters of healthcare organizations in research or implementation phases with these new solutions.
The benefits of automating manual processes are also apparent to healthcare IT workers, with under half of those surveyed revealing that one or more manual processes used within their organization would benefit from being automated. Some manual processes used in healthcare organizations that would benefit from being automated include:
- Collecting data during patient visits (48%)
- Accessing general medical information/resources (45%)
- Accessing and updating patient records (45%)
- Accessing test results (40%)
“Digitizing manual or paper-based work in the healthcare sector helps to eliminate inefficiencies and reduce the volume of administrative tasks that can divert attention away from caregiving responsibilities. However, when technologies that enable automation are not adequately managed, costly device downtime can occur. On average, healthcare workers experience 3.4 hours of device downtime per week, which impacts their ability to provide critical care. To improve patient outcomes and avoid device downtime, healthcare IT professionals need advanced diagnostic intelligence solutions that provides performance visibility and remote device support,” concluded Anand.
SOTI’s latest healthcare report, The Technology Lifeline: Charting Digital Progress in Healthcare, can be downloaded here.
Using an online methodology, SOTI conducted 1,450 interviews with IT professionals in organizations providing frontline patient-facing healthcare services with 50+ employees across nine countries. All participants are aged 18 and over. Fieldwork was conducted from March 30 to April 18, 2023. The interviews are split as follows: U.S. (200 interviews), Canada (150 interviews), Mexico (150 interviews), UK (200 interviews), Germany (150 interviews), France (150 interviews), Sweden (150 interviews), Netherlands (150 interviews) and Australia (150 interviews).
SOTI is the world’s most trusted provider of mobile and IoT device management solutions, with more than 17,000 enterprise customers and millions of devices managed worldwide. SOTI’s innovative portfolio of solutions and services provides the tools organizations need to truly mobilize their operations and optimize their mobility investments. SOTI extends secure mobility management to provides an integrated solution to manage and secure all mobile devices and connected peripherals in an organization. For more information, visit soti.net.
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