Healthcare CEOs start taking action against cyber threats

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Healthcare CEOs have started taking action against cyber threats. Results of PwC’s 20th Annual Global CEO Survey reveals that 63 percent of top executives in the healthcare sector are addressing breaches in data security and ethics, higher than the global average of 53 percent.

Most, however, aren’t taking the same proactive effort with cyber security issues. Only 48 percent are acting on cyber security activity, despite 61 percent ranking cyber security as the number two risk to stakeholder trust and 75 percent saying they’re concerned about cyber threats.

“Taking into consideration the sensitivity of healthcare data, it’s no surprise that industry CEOs are worried how technology could influence consumer trust and privacy. Yet as the survey results show, the healthcare industry is still at odds on how to harness its capabilities and mitigate the issues that could arise,” said Patrick Figgis, PwC's Global Health Services Leader.

The poll, which included responses from 56 healthcare leaders in 27 countries, also revealed that most healthcare CEOs believe it’s harder for businesses to gain and keep trust in the digital world, citing cyber threats as a growing concern and breaches in data security and ethics as the number one risk to stakeholders’ trust.

The study noted that over the last 20 years, technology has changed the way the industry operates. It offers the prospect of better, faster and more personalized care – but only as long as the industry takes up the challenge of addressing the risks that come with those rewards.

Healthcare CEOs do recognize that technology has the potential to shape and create opportunities, specifically with their talent agendas. The findings show that 59 percent are exploring the benefits of humans and machines working together (compared to the global average of 52 percent) and 82 percent are planning to use digital technology in training (versus 65 percent of global respondents).

Moreover, 64 percent of healthcare CEOs think globalization has facilitated greater connectivity, and 59 percent see a greater flow of goods and trade as a result. However, only 14 percent of respondents believe globalization is closing the gap between the rich and poor, and 32 percent believe it’s creating a more skilled and educated workforce.

“The real winners will be those that manage to integrate innovations with measures that protect stakeholders’ interests and needs,” Figgis said.   

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