A new white paper released earlier this month warns that legacy systems pose a huge cybersecurity risk to healthcare. The report, “Legacy Applications: A Healthcare Cybersecurity Nightmare”, is co-authored by clinical and cybersecurity consultancy, AbedGraham, and healthcare data management specialists, BridgeHead Software.
The white paper explores the far-reaching implications that vulnerable legacy applications have for healthcare organizations regarding cyber-attacks. With the devastating effect of the Wannacry attacks of 2017, and the increase of cyber-crime specifically targeting the healthcare industry, the paper delves into the clinical, operational, financial and governance risks posed by providers that continue to run and maintain legacy systems, while offering a solution as to how those risks can be mitigated.
Dr Saif Abed, medical doctor, healthcare cyber warfare expert, and co-author of the white paper, comments,
“Healthcare is the new frontier of cyber-crime and cyber-warfare. Attackers are looking for any way they can to compromise systems and networks at scale even if that means threatening patient care. Legacy applications, in particular, are often riddled with vulnerabilities ready to be exploited by everyone from petty opportunists to major organized crime.”
In its 2019 Top of Mind survey, The Center for Connected Medicine polled IT executives across 38 health systems, concluding that cybersecurity continues to be the biggest concern across the industry.
Gareth Griffiths, Chief Technology Officer at BridgeHead Software and co-author of the white paper, agrees with these findings, commenting,
“Cybersecurity continues to be top priority for hospitals around the world. As we saw from the Wannacry outbreak, cyber-attacks can have devastating effects for providers. It’s not just limited to the challenges associated with quickly and efficiently recovering systems and data, which is a given; it’s the disruption to hospital operations and critical patient services that create a domino effect. From discharge and referral delays, cancellation of elective surgical procedures, the redistribution and transfer of patients to alternative providers, the list goes on. These effects can have a direct bearing on a hospital’s finances, regulatory compliance, legal position, and reputation. So, why not eliminate or, at the very least, mitigate these risks by reducing the threat – decommission legacy applications and remove the security loopholes that cyber-criminals are increasingly drawn to.”
The new white paper introduces BridgeHead’s Independent Clinical Archive (ICA), HealthStore™, as a solution to decommission legacy applications by extracting clinical, financial and business data, and placing it in a standards-based, modern and secure repository. HealthStore allows hospitals to consolidate, store, protect, and share any record, document, file or image from any healthcare system, enabling an enterprise view of that data, integrated directly with electronic health record solutions, to facilitate smooth clinical workflow, agile decision-making and optimized care delivery.
You can get a copy of the new white paper here: “Legacy Applications: A Healthcare Cybersecurity Nightmare”.