The healthcare sector, at large, is one of the most diverse and complex security infrastructures to manage. The use of usernames and passwords complicates care and presents a significant overall risk to the organization and patients. A compromised credential can lead to fraud, access to illegal drugs, data breaches, and even medical devices when connected to patients.
It’s a tricky balancing act. Unfortunately, we’ve seen a perfect storm within the healthcare space with the detrimental impact of COVID-19 and ransomware attacks on patient healthcare at many hospital systems worldwide. Healthcare organizations can mitigate these attacks by including remote identity proofing and user authentication as part of a digital transformation.
Ransomware attacks posed major threats to hospitals in 2021 as more cybercriminals target critical infrastructure. Many organizations combat these attacks with email security training and implementing multi-factor authentication. Neither of these solutions solves the real problem with ransomware: not knowing who is actually on the other side of the digital connection.
To prevent ransomware attacks in 2022, hospitals should bring identity-based authentication into the security infrastructure to protect privacy while increasing user satisfaction. In practice, this looks like replacing login credentials (i.e., usernames and passwords) with digital identity.
Hospitals should implement next-generation multi-factor authentication with biometrics, and this will prevent data breaches and ransomware attacks by eliminating the threat of credential compromise. By implementing identity-based authentication, organizations can prove identity at every login and move towards a zero-trust environment.
Identity-based biometric security supports hospitals by providing quick, secure access to data and systems while protecting patient privacy. Hospitals must implement strong identity verification with high identity assurance, supporting strong identity-based access. In doing so, organizations will eliminate passwords and verify the identity of users logging in to minimize the threats from data breaches, ransomware, phishing, and fraud.
Digital identities are user-managed and come with many security benefits, including preventing account takeover and reduced risk of personally identifiable information (PII) related breaches. Also, replacing passwords with biometric MFA increases user satisfaction. It’s not enough to train your employees to spot phishing emails to eliminate the risk of ransomware. We must stop hoping for the best; with password-based systems and embrace identity-based authentication to strengthen organizational security.
Robert MacDonald, Vice President of Product Marketing, 1Kosmos