As more health data becomes digital, IT security is becoming increasingly important for hospitals. One key tool for protecting data: having a staff with the right cyber security expertise.
While all organizations are facing the growing threat of cyber attacks, hospitals are among the most at risk because criminals are putting more effort into stealing personal health information. In fact, 94% of healthcare organizations report having suffered at least one data breach in the past two years.
One way experts say hospitals and other organizations can limit the impact of security attacks: Have staff members with the right expertise and put them in charge of security throughout the whole organization.
The main challenge: IT security professionals are in high demand right now and are difficult for organizations to find and keep.
That’s the message in a recent report published by Semper Security. Over the past five years, demand for security pros has grown 3.5 times faster than for other kinds of IT professionals. On average, employees in IT security jobs pay nearly three times as much as the national average for full-time employees.
It’s estimated that between 20,000 and 40,000 IT security positions still need to be filled at organizations across the U.S.
Recruiting and retaining IT security pros
The bottom line: Hiring those employees could get expensive. But the good news for hospitals is that money isn’t the most important thing for security pros, and organizations can find ways to attract and retain them even when budgets are tight.
Semper Security surveyed 500 cyber security workers in 40 different industries, including health care. Among those respondents:
- 56% said interesting, challenging work was a top factor that would attract them to a job
- 47% listed a flexible work environment as a top benefit
- 44% said a reputation for integrity is a key factor in what makes for an ideal employer
- 29% want training and career development opportunities from their employers
- 25% of security pros said they care most about the technology they work with, and
- 22% said they want their next career step to be a job that offers more difficult challenges.