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C-level executives tend to overestimate cloud maturity, report shows

There is a significant disparity in how C-suite management and executives assess their organizations’ cloud-based cybersecurity and how secure they really are, according to the new ClearDATA 2022 report, “A false sense of cyber security.”


Despite the high level of data breach risk experienced in the healthcare space, the Austin-based cloud provider not only found that the healthcare leaders it surveyed were overly optimistic, but also that many of the Larger vendor organizations outsource their security and compliance. .

Of the 200 IT, security and compliance leaders in hospitals and health systems, 85% responded with confidence in their cloud security and compliance programs.

“While many providers believe that their cloud infrastructure is well-protected, the truth is that they still have a long way to go to reach the minimum threshold for effective protection against a growing attack surface,” said the researchers at ClearDATA in the report.

Many vendors struggled to manage security and compliance on their own, the report showed. The ongoing digitization of patient data is a factor, with 33% of respondents completely outsourcing to the cloud. Those with larger teams and more funds reported being able to move further toward cloud adoption.

To prevent data breaches, protect against ransomware and phishing, and meet regulatory requirements, 71% of surveyed healthcare IT leaders indicated that cybersecurity budgets will grow in 2022.

Although they report being prepared or “fully prepared” for security incidents, many still do not employ industry best practices, including data backups and multi-factor authentication for passwords.

Few have formed hierarchical cybersecurity policies or taken steps to ensure IoT security, although 58% regularly conduct mock breach exercises. The rest do it rarely, if ever. And only 49% of respondents monitor third-party access to data.

Cybersecurity is also the top barrier preventing midsize businesses from pursuing digital transformation, according to 56% of respondents. Other barriers to cloud adoption cited were budget (35%), data management (32%), compliance (32%), and lack of experience (17%).

“These results underscore the complexity of navigating cloud migration, in particular, the cumulative cybersecurity implications that come with every new digital technology a provider adds, all of which smaller providers may be less equipped to manage on their own.” themselves,” the ClearDATA researchers said. in the report

Overall, 47% of respondents indicated that they use a mix of internal and external expertise for security and compliance.

“Going forward, all providers must implement the basics of cybersecurity lockdown and addressing within their organization, and seek external support from cloud experts as needed to effectively modernize their healthcare delivery without sacrificing security.” safety of their patients,” Chris Bowen, founder and CISO at ClearDATA said in a prepared statement.


With cybersecurity budgets at an all-time high, many healthcare providers are focused on taking steps to protect the data of patients and their organizations from cyberattacks.

Although healthcare is challenged by cloud adoption, cloud tools that detect, prevent, and address privacy and security breaches can serve as a barrier against cyberattacks.

But while the cloud offers the opportunity to improve patient outcomes by driving faster innovation and lowering costs, healthcare with all of its physical assets, such as medical devices, typically operates in a hybrid cloud state where risks security continue to evolve.

The complexities of Securing a hybrid cloud, with blind spots between infrastructure, can expose a healthcare organization to external data breaches and other attacks.

Partnering with external organizations in multi-cloud environments requires significant risk assessment. The involvement of cloud services and the introduction of cloud-enabled medical devices into healthcare ecosystems requires that teams understand data risks at every stage: data processing, transmission and storage.


“Health care is modernizing at an unprecedented rate, moving to the cloud and embracing the many benefits of digital health,” Bowen said. “However, healthcare providers are new to the cloud, and the industry still has a long way to go to achieve the basic level of security needed to keep patient data safe.”

Andrea Fox is a senior editor for Healthcare IT News.

Healthcare IT News is published by HIMSS.


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