Spanish healthcare prepares for cyber attacks 

Spain gears up in war against cybercrime

Image of a cyber-criminal. Credit: Ground Picture/Shutterstock.com

In the wake of the rising number of cyber threats, Spain’s health sector is taking decisive action.

Recently, just days after the Catalan Government allocated funds to combat cyber threats, the Spanish Private Health Alliance (Aspe) convened a forum.

This move underscores the escalating concern over cybercrime within Spain’s health sector. With infrastructures labelled as antiquated and patient data highly sought after by cybercriminals, incidents like those experienced by the Hospital Clinic and Moises Broggi may not remain isolated.

A call to arms against cybercrime

The health sector in Spain is facing a significant challenge. The convergence of health data at a European level further exposes patient records to potential threats.

Both public and private healthcare entities in Spain, including Aspe and the Catalan Generalitat, are rallying resources to combat this menace.

According to Planta Doce, Luis Mendicuti, Aspe’s general secretary, stated, ‘cybersecurity in the health system is not an option, it is something fundamental.’ His comment highlights the sector’s dedication to maintaining trust through robust cybersecurity measures.

Bridging the gap

However, according to Aiuken, a cybersecurity specialist, there’s a substantial disconnect between Aspe’s goals and the current needs of Spanish healthcare.

The company’s report criticises the sector’s outdated technological infrastructures and calls for increased investment to deter cybercriminals.

This necessity is further amplified by the European Union’s move towards a unified health data market, raising the stakes for data security.

Facing the threat

The ACC has outlined the primary cyber threats looming over the health sector, including ransomware and phishing scams.

Ransomware, for instance, has previously compromised public hospitals by encrypting files and demanding ransom in cryptocurrency.

To counter these threats, solutions such as restricting access to electronic health records and enhancing training for those with access are being proposed.

With a concerted effort to improve cybersecurity, including the development of action plans and regulatory advice, Spain’s health sector aims to certify under the National Security Scheme.

This initiative marks a significant step towards safeguarding patient data and ensuring the integrity of healthcare services against cyber threats.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.

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