Report Says Healthcare Cloud Infrastructure Has ‘Significant Gaps’ | Healthcare Innovation

On Aug. 30, Austin, Texas-Headquartered ClearDATA, a managed cloud and defense provider, announced the release of its report, “The 2022 State of Cloud Security Among Healthcare Providers.” The report looks at the state of the market’s cloud cybersecurity hygiene and investments and found that the healthcare industry is confident yet unprepared. “While many providers believe their cloud infrastructure is secure, the reality is that significant gaps in technology and digital hygiene practices leave vulnerable private health data unprotected against the ever-growing risk of cyberattack,” a press release on the report says.

In May-June of 2022, ClearDATA collected survey data from more than 200 IT, security, and compliance leaders at health systems, hospitals, healthcare providers, home healthcare organizations, and ambulatory practices.

The press release states that “While providers are optimistic about the security of their cloud infrastructure, this degree of confidence may not accurately reflect cybersecurity preparedness. As many as 85 percent of respondents expressed confidence in their cloud security and compliance program but, tellingly, there was a significant disparity between how C-level executives and other levels of management characterized their cloud maturity, indicating those further away from day-to-day realities may overestimate their assessment of security posture.”

That said, “Healthcare providers know that cybersecurity must remain a top priority to safeguard patient care and outcomes in today’s digitally connected world. Yet, cybersecurity is also the primary stumbling block preventing those organizations from pursuing digital transformation. The majority of respondents (56 percent) named cybersecurity as their biggest barrier to cloud adoption, with smaller provider organizations, who may have fewer resources to manage the complexity of cloud migration and security, more likely to identify it as a barrier.”

Additionally, according to the report, as patient data becomes more digital, providers are finding it difficult to manage security and compliance solutions on their own. Thirty-three percent of respondents fully outsource management of compliance and security measures in the cloud, with larger/more advanced providers more likely to outsource.

Further, 71 percent of budgets grew compared to the previous year. In most cases, the decision to increase budget was made in a proactive manner to prevent data leaks, breaches, ransomware, and phishing.

Chris Bowen, founder and CISO at ClearDATA was quoted in the release saying that “Healthcare is modernizing at an unprecedented pace, migrating to the cloud and embracing the many benefits of digital health. But, healthcare providers are new to the cloud, and the industry still has a long way to go to achieve the foundational level of security needed to keep patient data safe. Going forward, every provider must implement the basics of cybersecurity blocking and tackling within their organization, and seek outside support from cloud experts as needed to effectively modernize their healthcare delivery without sacrificing the security of their patients.”