Creating a model for human-centric health and wellbeing envisions a shift from merely treating ill health towards the continuous promotion of wellbeing across all parts of an individual’s life. Underpinning this model are various technologies and digital platforms that will make this new approach possible. While these technologies can transform our lives for the better, each one expands the potential for digital attacks to exploit any vulnerabilities. These cyber risks can potentially undermine trust in the model, making individuals cautious about accessing all its benefits. Ensuring the success of a new health and wellbeing approach means ensuring a robust cybersecurity strategy that builds digital trust and makes effective use of transformative technological innovations.
As we increasingly rely on technology and conduct more of our lives online, cyber criminals’ opportunities continue to expand. All businesses and individuals are at risk of cyberattack, but organizations and systems relating to the healthcare sector have been particular targets in the past year. According to Check Point Software, healthcare organizations saw a 45% increase in cyberattacks between November 2020 and January 2021. These attacks were more than double the growth experienced by other sectors, which averaged a 22% rise in cyberattacks during the same period. We need a new approach to ensure that we can safely and securely use digital tools and technologies. This need for security is critical in the case of health, as genetic data is particularly sensitive and must be carefully protected and managed.
To better manage the cybersecurity threat, organizations need to build their resilience. Understanding cyber risk and preparing for cyberattacks will put organizations in a better position to deal with unexpected scenarios that threaten to disrupt their operations. The source of failure is typically organizational in nature rather than stemming from inadequate security technology. This need for awareness points to a need for a change in mentality and policies surrounding security. All organization members need to be given the tools and information to understand and act on potential cyber threats. Only by bringing people into the equation and making them part of the resilience structure will organizations better manage the cybersecurity threat.
One way to build digital trust and security is through the Safety and Elasticity Model (SEM). This model is made up of four building blocks: Elasticity, Resilience, Safety and Cybersecurity.
Each of these building blocks fits into a model based on five factors:
Transforming our approach to cybersecurity will be a key part of building digital trust. Without trust, an open and transparent health and wellbeing model will not succeed. In our increasingly digital world, we cannot afford to be complacent about security. Our health-related data should be carefully protected and used to benefit the individual to whom the data belongs. Through collaboration and a change in mindset, better security is possible. And with the necessary protection in place, we can safely use technology to improve and enhance our health and wellbeing.