Social Media: A Cyber Security Threat For Healthcare Organizations

Posted by Tonni Islam

Social media has become an incredible way to communicate with friends, family, and coworkers all across the world. However, any new technology can bring cyber risks along with it.

That is particularly the case with social media, as we’ll explore in just a moment. So, when it comes to ensuring that your healthcare organization protects employees, partners, and patients, you need to understand the role of social media in cybersecurity.

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The Impact Of Social Media On Healthcare Cybersecurity

There are several social media cybersecurity risks that you should be aware of, such as:

1. Social Engineering

Social engineering refers to cyber crimes like data theft, credential theft, phishing attacks, and similar scams.

The reality is that social media increases the attack surface with which you’re vulnerable to cyber attacks for your healthcare organization.

For instance, every one of your employees likely has a social media account. If it’s connected with your business or healthcare organization, then cyber criminals can perform a quick investigation — determining who may be more likely to have access to private information or data.

From here, they can use social engineering techniques such as phishing. This would entail reaching out to your employees’ social media accounts. They may be claiming to be someone from your organization, financial institution, or even a friend or family member in need of help.

If that employee clicks on a link, for instance, they could be taken to a page that downloads malicious software on their device. Afterward, hackers can access private information trivially.

2. Oversharing

Social media and cybersecurity are heavily connected because access to private information creates vulnerabilities. The social media age makes it very tempting to share details about your personal life and even professional life.

While this may not necessarily be a threat to most businesses, the healthcare industry is unique. People can put themselves at risk by sharing confidential information, business data, patient information, or more — it may even be an accident.

The types of risks that your healthcare organization is exposed to with oversharing include whaling attacks. This uses senior executive information to manipulate them into performing an action that goes against your security protocols.

3. Spear Phishing

This could involve current news or relevant financial documents to encourage making protected information vulnerable.

Spoofing is related to this variety of cyber-based social engineering as well. What appears to be a valid phone number or email address can be used to reach out to healthcare staff to trick them into handing over private data.

4. Unprotected Mobile Devices

Since most of the U.S. now uses mobile devices in their daily life, a new attack vector is present. Cybercriminals can attempt to access employees’ portable devices, which may contain private protected health information (PHI).

Protect Your Healthcare Organization With The Right Technology

At ComplyAssistant, we provide HIPAA compliance software that allows you to manage your compliance program while also improving your digital security.

From contract management to risk analysis and more, you can protect your health staff and patients. Reach out to ComplyAssistant today for a free consultation to learn more.