Data Breaches and Healthcare: Is India Lacking in Healthcare Data Security?

As healthcare facilities transition to digital medical records, data breaches and cyberattacks are becoming more common here as well. With the progress of digitalization, the healthcare industry is relying more on electronic storage and transmission of sensitive patient data.

Patients’ medical data, personal information, and financial information are increasingly stored in digital formats. However, as digital storage grows, so does the possibility of data breaches. The healthcare industry is now facing a persistent type of threat – cybersecurity attacks. These attacks can cause significant damage to patients and the healthcare system.

Recently, India has witnessed a rise in healthcare data breaches, making it vulnerable to cyberattacks. For example, there were 1.9 million cyberattacks this year until November 28, 2022. The question that arises here is – Is India falling behind in healthcare data security? In this article, we will explore the issue of healthcare data security in India.

The current scenario in India is concerning since there are no strict rules or laws in place to protect healthcare data. The government has yet to develop explicit norms for healthcare data security, placing the responsibility on healthcare providers. However, many of them lack the resources, expertise, and understanding needed to adopt effective security measures. This creates a ticking time bomb.


Why should healthcare organizations invest in healthcare data protection?

Currently, the penalty for noncompliance is not stringent, so why should healthcare organizations invest in data protection? The answer is simple: it’s the right thing to do. Healthcare organizations have a responsibility to protect their patients’ sensitive data.

Patients trust healthcare organizations with their sensitive information, and it’s essential to honor that trust. Investing in data protection measures helps healthcare organizations build trust with their patients. This trust is essential for maintaining a good reputation.

Incentives for healthcare organizations to invest in data protection include avoiding reputational damage and potential costs. These costs could be associated with a data breach. Healthcare organizations that suffer a data breach can face significant financial and legal consequences, as well as damage to their reputation. By investing in data protection measures, healthcare organizations can mitigate these risks and protect their patients’ sensitive data.

Are there any regulatory frameworks in place in India to address healthcare data security concerns?

While there are some guidelines in place to address healthcare data security concerns in India,  such as

  • The Information Technology (Reasonable Security Practices and Procedures and Sensitive Personal Data or Information) Rules 2011: Only Indian businesses and individuals are subject to the regulations of the Information Technology Rules 2011.These regulations are regarding Reasonable Security Practices and Procedures and Sensitive Personal Data or Information. Healthcare organizations that deal with patient data must follow these standards, which include safeguards for data protection and cybersecurity.
  • The National Health Stack (NHS): The National Health Stack (NHS) aims to make comprehensive healthcare data collecting as easy as possible. This will assist policymakers in experimenting with policies. It can also help detect health insurance fraud, measure outcomes, and progress toward smart policy-making through data analysis.The NHS has a data privacy and security framework. This framework outlines the rules and practices that healthcare organizations must follow in order to protect patient data.
  • HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act): HIPAA is a US regulation. Many Indian healthcare institutions that interact with patients from the US or healthcare professionals are required to follow its regulations. HIPAA has various regulations concerning data privacy and security, including standards for data encryption, access limits, and breach notifications.
  • The Cybersecurity Policy of India, 2013: The Indian Cybersecurity Policy outlines best practices and guidelines for enterprises in many industries, including healthcare, to secure their information systems from cyber threats. Healthcare organizations must follow the policy’s rules for risk management, incident response, and security audits.
  • The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019: Although the Personal Data Protection Law of 2019 has not yet been enacted into law, it is intended to impose rigorous data protection and cybersecurity standards on enterprises that collect, store, and handle personal data, including health information. Healthcare institutions must follow its rules to safeguard the privacy and security of their patients’ data.

How can Cyber Sierra help?

At Cyber Sierra, we understand the importance of healthcare data security in India. We’re equipped to help Indian healthcare companies implement data protection measures and comply with Indian regulations. Our services include technical safeguards as well as administrative safeguards like employee training and incident response plans. With Cyber Sierra’s help, Indian healthcare companies can protect their patients’ sensitive data and build trust with their patients.

In summary, the lack of data security in India’s healthcare industry is a pressing concern that demands immediate attention. The government needs to take decisive steps to implement stringent rules and regulations to safeguard patient data. Healthcare providers, too, must shoulder their responsibility and allocate resources to ensure data protection.

With the healthcare sector expanding rapidly, prioritizing data security has become more critical than ever before. It is time for all stakeholders to come together and address this issue conclusively before painful consequences develop for patients and the healthcare system.


Cyber Attacks

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5 Best Phishing Protection Solutions

Security breaches are executed through multiple tactics, but 90% of the time, they come in the form of phishing attacks.

The most common manoeuvre of phishing cybercriminals is to use famous brands and logos and pretend to be high-ranking individuals of an organization to dupe victims into opening malicious emails and links.

Thus, phishing, pronounced like fishing, is an online attack that deceives victims into sharing confidential information or sending money.

To protect your business from phishing attacks, read this article and learn about what your business can do for the best phishing protection.


Phishing Scams in Recent History

Though there has been a growing awareness of phishing threats, many companies are still getting duped into these scams.  

In 2014, the Swedish Bank lost almost $1 million to digital fraudsters when bank customers opened phishing emails with Trojan malware (masquerading as anti-spam software).

That same year, Sony executives were lured into sending over sensitive data thinking that the phishing email came from Apple.

Below are just some of the largest phishing scams in history.

Phishing Scams in Recent History


Common Phishing Attacks

Phishing threats have evolved, and cybercriminals have become more sophisticated.

However, regardless of the type of phishing scam, the common denominator remains: pretend to be someone else to steal things of value.

common phishing attacks

  • Smishing and vishing

SMS phishing (smishing) and voice call phishing (vishing) utilize phones to execute the attack. An example is a message, purportedly from a bank, saying that the victim’s account has been compromised. The letter then instructs the victim to send over the bank account number and password. Sharing these confidential details allows the attacker to control the victim’s bank account.

  • Spear phishing

In some instances, phishing attackers target a specific individual in a company because of his position—a strategy known as spear phishing.

Check the example below. Examine how the phishing attack is mainly directed to a member of the HR department and how the business email compromise (BEC) seems to be knowledgeable of the industry where the victim works. Unaware employees can get easily duped by this type of email.

spear phishing

  • Whaling

Cybercriminals often want the biggest catch—the whale. Whaling is more targeted as it attempts to dupe senior executives, such as CEOs and CFOs.

Phishing Protection: Company’s Actions

Phishing attacks constantly threaten the survival of companies. Therefore, companies must invest in the form of phishing protection.

Awareness Training and Simulations

Because employees are often the unfortunate targets of phishing, they should learn how phishing attempts are executed by knowing the basics of phishing detection.

For example, Cyber Sierra offers employee awareness training with simulation exercises that help employees distinguish suspected phishing emails and messages and how to react to these threats accordingly.

Through training, employees learn how to recognize malicious links and attachments easily.

Anti-Phishing Software

However, phishing detection should be independent of employees.

Companies must invest in anti-phishing software that could examine emails and websites that go through the company’s system. Through this, employees can be warned before opening any email or URLs. Some highly-advanced anti-phishing software can prevent a phishing email from entering the company’s inbox.

5 Best Phishing Protection Solutions: How to Protect Yourself Against Phishing Attacks

Cybercriminals have become more competent, and an email’s security tools are only sometimes dependable in filtering suspicious messages.

Thus, it is always essential to add extra layers of protection through targeted anti-phishing solutions. 

Know how to spot a phishing attack.

Prevention remains the best medicine, and the same rule applies in cyberspace.

Cyber Sierra advises that employees know how to spot a phishing attempt to evade the company’s potential financial and data loss. 

According to a 2021 report, phishing attacks tend to have high success rates when targets have low awareness about common cyber threats and anti-phishing protection solutions.

know how to spot a phishing attack

Make sure that your computer’s security software is updated.

Up-to-date security software ensures essential components are present to protect the computer and system from phishing-related threats like malware.

Use multi-factor authentication.

Cyber Sierra recommends multi-factor authentication—the process of undergoing two methods to validate the identity of a user. Phishing attackers will usually subvert and compromise an account to steal information.

Thus, multiple ways to authenticate the user reduce potential unauthorized access.

Think before you click, especially about clicking on pop-up ads.

When browsing, pop-up ads are common occurrences targeted for advertising. However, cybercriminals may use legitimate websites and insert malware into pop-up ads.

Often the pop-up message warns the user of a system problem and presents a downloadable tool to repair it. Downloading the app gives cyber criminals access to your computer.

Notify the IT department immediately if you suspect a phishing attack.

If a suspected phishing attempt is detected, Cyber Sierra strongly suggests notifying one’s IT department as soon as possible to prevent further compromising of the computer.

IT professionals can conduct an analysis of the extent of the attack and can present advice on how similar phishing incidents can be prevented in the future.

protect yourself from phishing

Next Steps

No business is safe from phishing scams. 

Nevertheless, consistent monitoring and acting quickly can stop phishing attempts even before they occur. 

To help you achieve assured protection, we at Cyber Sierra offer the best anti-phishing tools, software, and other threat protection solutions. We are an emerging tech company based in Singapore that provides cybersecurity tools and cyber insurance. We have an extensive range of products for attaining security compliance and solutions. Check our current plans to know which service is customized to your company’s needs.


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What Makes a Good Cyber Security Posture Management Vendor?

Cybersecurity posture management is a facet of information technology that protects sensitive information against cyber criminals. This may include safeguarding an organization’s information system and computer networks from security risks, attacks, threats, intrusions, or other data breaches. With the growing sophistication of cyberattacks, firewalls, and anti-viruses are not enough anymore. There is a need for more robust protection through the help of a good cyber security posture management vendor.


Some General Statistics on Cyber Crimes Since the Pandemic:


Some General Statistics on Cyber Crimes Since the Pandemic:


Based on those statistics, there is a need to have a good cybersecurity posture management vendor to protect ourselves and our businesses online. That said, given the abundance of cybersecurity vendors, it may take time to choose the best one. As such, this article can help you find the best possible vendor for your needs.

Features of a Good Cyber Security Posture Management Vendor


Features of a Good Cyber Security Posture Management Vendor


1) Good Scalability of Solutions

The security vendor you choose should be able to keep pace with the growth of your organization while staying well ahead of any possible threat. As such, as you add new endpoints, expand your network, or integrate additional operational tools and technologies, their products and services will not be rendered obsolete. A good vendor should be committed to developing and releasing new functions and features that combat emerging threats while being flexible enough to adapt to their client’s needs.

2) Customisable Protection 

The vendor should be able to tailor their offerings based on your organization’s needs. Given the rapid evolution of cybercrimes, a ‘one size fits all’ protection from a vendor would be insufficient. Likewise, each organization and needs are different. Some would need overall cybersecurity protection, while others only require an add-on to existing services. 

A good vendor should be able to customize their services based on the customer’s needs. While an out-of-the-box product can provide a certain level of protection, having the ability to customize through modular add-ons can give the best level of protection your business would need.

3) Experienced Cybersecurity Experts

The security team should be experienced in understanding how threats work, knowing how to spot them, and knowing how to prevent them. At its core, cybersecurity is about knowledge. As such, a good vendor should have experienced cybersecurity experts that use data-driven defenses such as Big Data collection or artificial intelligence.

4) Holistic Approach to Security 

With the level of sophistication shown by cybercriminals, protection should also be adequate in response. As such, they should be able to defend every aspect of your IT infrastructure. While phishing, ransomware, and DDoS have overlapping techniques for executing, a good vendor should have a high level of protection against each one of those possible threats. This entails 24/7, 365 days of end-to-end monitoring, detecting, and responding to threats. As such, a good vendor has a holistic approach to your security.

5) Cybersecurity Experts Are Always Accessible

Since cyberattacks are unforecastable, cybersecurity vendors should have tangible and intangible resources to respond to such attacks 24/7. This means that the vendor should have an established protocol that can guarantee that you are protected no matter what.

6) Price of Protection is Cost-Efficient

Since damages from cyberattacks can be expensive, you must be assured that your vendor can protect your organization against such attacks. As such, a good vendor can provide you with a wide range of services and solutions to mitigate damaging cyberattacks at a competitive price. The perceived value of the product should equal its cost.

Final Thoughts

With the uptick of cybercrimes, organizations need to have a chance to protect themselves. With the help of a good cyber security posture management vendor, not only will they have the best possible protection from threats and attacks, but they will also have a good picture of the organization’s security posture.

This is where we at Cyber Sierra come in. Since we know that cyber risks are a significant business concern, we have created an intelligent platform that helps secure businesses from threats. A few capabilities of our platform include periodic scans to proactively identify and fix issues, develop infuse policies to bolster organizational preparedness, run counter-phishing campaigns to prepare your team from phishing attacks, and detect any cloud misconfigurations. Essentially, with our highly skilled experts, you are assured that all your protection needs will be met.

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