Cyber threats to the healthcare industry are increasing daily, at all aspects of its value train: materials production; formulation; device manufacture; food supplement manufacture; formulation/assembly; packaging; distribution; and ultimately delivery. Such threats are difficult to mitigate against since the industry is multi-national in nature, with different portions of the value chain internationally dispersed.

Cyber threats are real, sophisticated, persistent and, in many respects extremely threatening to industry members, the brand, and patients/consumers, where they can be life threatening. But where do the threats originate? The answer is surprising.

According to a well-informed, validated Government source, the industry must realize that cybersecurity is human-centric – and the humans are at many times within the healthcare organizations themselves. They include employees at all levels (full and part time), volunteers in the case of healthcare providers, contract personnel including manufacturers and consultants – indeed an upsetting, but nevertheless a well-documented reality.

The Government source continues to relay the opinion that a significant vulnerability is the “human point.” While technology may be present to manage certain aspects of the risks, the weak link are people.

The Government’s advice is to perform detailed background screening on ALL personnel and at ALL levels prior to being hired and starting to work. Furthermore, existing personnel should be re-vetted on a regular, periodic basis.

It is time to get serious – the cost of performing the screenings is insignificant in comparison to the cost of not mitigating the risk.

Posted by: Rudy Troisi, President and CEO, Reliable Background Screening

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