The Cyber Landscape for Health and Social Care - Vodafone in Health

The health and social care sector faces an alarming rise in cyber threats, with data breach costs surging by 42% since 20201. This sector has registered the highest average data breach costs for 12 consecutive years and, in 2022, witnessed the most cyberattacks across all industries2. Healthcare’s attractiveness to cybercriminals stems from the invaluable data it holds, such as patient records and billing information. As these organisations embrace digitisation, there’s a pressing need for enhanced cybersecurity measures to safeguard both their operations and patient well-being.

Cyber threats to health and social care originate from various sources:

  • Foreign State Actors: Some foreign state actors seek intelligence about another country’s healthcare infrastructure and personal data for strategic benefit. However, not all are motivated solely by knowledge; aiming to disrupt the system, intentionally or accidentally, affecting healthcare stability.
  • Criminally Organised Groups: Mainly driven by profit, these groups exploit vulnerabilities in healthcare systems to launch ransomware attacks, demanding significant ransoms to restore access to crucial data and systems.
  • Casual Hacktivists: Unlike organised groups, their motivation might not be financial. They often seek to make political statements or draw attention to specific causes. For some, it’s about showcasing system vulnerabilities.
  • Insider Threats: This category includes employees with malicious intentions and well-meaning staff who unintentionally compromise security measures. Insider threats can be both intentional and accidental, making them a significant concern.

The consequences of cyber threats extend beyond technical issues, for example, financial ransoms strain resources, risk reputational damage, and disrupt health and care services – potentially endangering lives.

Finance teams play a pivotal role in allocating resources to enhance the cybersecurity of healthcare organisations, so it’s crucial to invest efficiently, starting with identifying and addressing system vulnerabilities. Regularly updating and patching software is essential to keep threats at bay. Ensuring systems are fortified against potential threats and taking a proactive approach to eliminate as many security risks as possible from the outset, is critical.

Additionally, stringent user-end controls should be implemented to mitigate risks associated with human error or oversight. Multifactor authentication, and a layered defence strategy that necessitates users to prove their identity before gaining access, are essential components.

Equally important is the integration of anti-virus software and endpoint detection and response systems. These tools enable real-time monitoring and defence against potential threats, ensuring that immediate action can be taken when necessary. Lastly, investing in data loss prevention tools is imperative to safeguard sensitive patient information.

In an era of escalating cyber threats, the prudent allocation of resources to these key areas is essential for safeguarding continuity. Vodafone in Health is well-equipped to support you in improving your organisation’s cybersecurity. With 25+ years of experience, 200+ technical experts, and a history of working with critical national infrastructure, Vodafone in Health offers advanced threat monitoring and effective security plans. Vodafone’s global internet infrastructure provides a comprehensive view of the digital landscape, enabling rapid responses to evolving threats, along with tools to navigate the digital landscape.

For support in safeguarding against these threats, request a call back or book a discovery session here.



  • 1
  • 2



Click a tile to explore 


If you would like to connect with any of the innovators, such as arrange a meeting or seek more information, HTN is happy to facilitate. Please complete the form here and we will be in touch.