Healthcare and cyber security in India

India has made significant progress in improving its healthcare system and increasing access to medical care in recent years. However, like in any other country, there are still challenges that need to be addressed, including shortages of healthcare workers, inadequate infrastructure and equipment, and limited access to care in rural areas.

In terms of cybersecurity, India has also made efforts to improve its cyber infrastructure and protect against cyber threats. However, it continues to face challenges such as a lack of trained cybersecurity professionals, a growing number of cyber attacks(AIIMS attack is the latest example) and a lack of cybersecurity awareness among the general population. The Indian government has implemented various measures to address these issues, including the establishment of a National Cyber Security Coordination Centre and the implementation of the Cybersecurity Strategy of India. However, there is still much work to be done to fully secure India's cyberspace.

About AIIMS Cyber attack:

AIIMS confirmed on November 23rd, 2022 that they are victims of a ransomware attack. Data and personal details of millions of patients were encrypted. CERT-IN found out that there are no policies and cyber infrastructure was not maintained by the AIIMS IT security team. The firewall and network were not monitored and no policies were defined. (read more here)

In general, hospitals in India have been adopting various measures to improve their cybersecurity infrastructure and protect against cyber threats. These measures may include implementing access controls, encrypting sensitive data, securing networks with firewalls and intrusion detection systems, providing training and awareness to staff, and developing incident response plans.

How to be secured in healthcare?

There are several cybersecurity policies that hospitals in India should consider implementing to protect their systems and sensitive patient data. Some of these policies may include:

  1. Access controls: Implementing strong access controls, such as user authentication and permissions, can help prevent unauthorized access to hospital systems and data.

  2. Data encryption: Encrypting sensitive data, such as patient medical records, can help protect it from being accessed by unauthorized individuals.

  3. Network security: Hospitals should secure their networks with measures such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems to protect against cyber attacks.

  4. Training and awareness: Providing training and raising awareness among hospital staff about cybersecurity best practices can help prevent accidental data breaches.

  5. Incident response plan: Having a well-defined incident response plan in place can help hospitals effectively respond to and recover from cyber incidents.

  6. Third-party security: Hospitals should ensure that any third-party vendors or service providers they work with have strong cybersecurity measures in place to protect against data breaches.

It's important for hospitals to regularly review and update their cybersecurity policies to ensure that they are effective in protecting against the evolving threat landscape.

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