Fortifying healthcare: safeguarding data in the digital age

The integration of digital technology into healthcare has presented a multitude of challenges, with cybersecurity emerging as a major concern. The consequences of cyber threats extend beyond financial implications, posing a significant risk to the integrity of healthcare systems. Key vulnerabilities within the healthcare sector, including endpoint leakage, user authentication deficiencies, and excessive user permissions, persist as critical areas susceptible to compromise. In the worst case, these vulnerabilities pose a threat to patients' wellbeing. Collaboration in EU consortia may be the answer to tackle the challenges. 

Compounding this challenge is the incorporation of the "Internet of Medical Things (IoMT),”, a subset of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies into healthcare. While IoMT devices offer advanced functionalities with improved sensing and actuating capabilities, they simultaneously introduce threats that compromise data security and privacy. This accentuates the central dilemma of digitalization — the imperative to uphold and ensure patient data privacy and security.  

A glaring manifestation of cybersecurity issues in healthcare is the alarming surge in ransomware attacks. Ransomware is one of the prime threats in the health sector (54%), both in the number of incidents but also in its impact on health organisations. According to the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA), out of 215 publicly reported cyber incidents in the EU and neighbouring countries, 208 were cyberattacks on the health sector. Cyberattacks in the healthcare sector have a financial cost; however, it is difficult to accurately assess the cost of attacks. ENISA study suggests the median cost of a major security incident stands at 300,000€. However, the biggest concern lies in  patient safety. These cyberattacks frequently lead to delays in triage and treatment. Moreover, the potential for data breaches adds an alarming dimension with the capacity to directly impact the well-being of patients.  

Curious about this Horizon Europe opportunity for digital health? 

This dual challenge of financial consequences and threats to patient safety requires innovative solutions to strengthen our defences against cyber threats in healthcare. Are you interested in tackling this challenge through collaboration with major EU consortia to ideate ground-breaking concepts, aligning with the HORIZON-CL3-2024-CS-01-01 call on Approaches and tools for security in software and hardware development and assessment?  

The deadline for the submission is 20 November 2024 and there is a total of over 6M€ available per project.

Feel free to get in touch with the Digital Health team at Spinverse for a one-on-one meeting by contacting Team Leader, Dr.
Jayden Khakurel, e-mail


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