28 June 2019

New research conducted by the cybersecurity company Carbon Black, involving 20 healthcare CISOs (chief information security officers) has shown that over the last few years 83% of healthcare organisations have acknowledged a rise in cyber-attacks and that these attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated.

According to the study, cyber-attacks are becoming increasinly common in "smart hospitals" because of the growing use of medical and IoT devices. These devices are an extremely easy target for cyber-criminals, for several reasons, such as the lack of device security monitoring, insufficient security budgets, lack of staff training and often blurred lines of responsibility. As a result, smart hospitals now have a larger attack surface. 

Cyber security is how individuals and organisations reduce the risk of cyber-attacks. And, in the case of healthcare, ensure the safety and wellbeing of patients. 

Cybersecurity's core function is to protect the devices we all use (smartphones, laptops, tablets and computers, medical devices), and the services we access - both online and at work - from theft or damage.

It's also about preventing unauthorised access to the vast amounts of personal information we store on these devices, and online.

Cybersecurity is important because we are becoming increasingly dependent on connected devices also in hospitals and care centres so it's more important than ever to stake steps that can prevent cyber criminals getting hold of our accounts, data, and devices. Awareness is critical to reducing the number of data breaches from a cyber-attack. 

 While awareness of cyber-attacks is increasing among senior IT security management (e.g. CISOs), it's crucial to raise awareness across all staff members working in hospitals, from medical to non-medical. 

This is where PANACEA comes into play in the drive towards people-centric cybersecurity in healthcare. Chief among its activities is raising awareness about cyber risks in healthcare, collecting, analysing and implementing end-user requirements for cybersecurity and good behavioural practices.  A key feature of PANACEA's research and innovation is Behaviour Nudging aimed a prompting medical and IT staff towards better cyber practices in their daily work. Development work is based on an in-depth study of human factors affecting cyber security as one of PANACEA's centre points. 

PANACEA sets out its goals and work plan over the next 3 years, from January 2019 to December 2021. Watch our first video from the PANACEA Kick Off Meeting to learn about the dangers of connected devices and how it is important to protect them from cyber attacks.