The health care sector has been under constant pressure to shore up its cybersecurity defenses in the past few years, as data breaches continue to plague the sector in the United States and abroad. At the same time, though, legislation has actively pushed medical firms to more aggressively adopt and deploy modern technologies and solutions, which has made management a very difficult prospect for many leaders in the field.

In spite of the constant stream of news stories regarding major data breaches in health care, it would be misleading to say that the medical sector has failed in its latest technological endeavors, as hospitals and other entities have indeed progressed from an operational standpoint. Some of the latest and greatest technologies in the world have been specifically targeted at patient care, and medical firms have overcome a wealth of obstacles to get them in use.

However, security and risk management need to become more prominent priorities among medical firms in the coming years, as the cost of breach has hit much higher numbers than ever before, and the frequency with which health care providers are struck by events is rising. Simple adjustments to strategy and the inclusion of more progressive solutions such as secure cloud and email encryption services can go a long way toward bolstering the resilience of each medical firm in the face of attacks.

Balancing speedy deployment, optimal IT performance, proactive mitigation of threats and constant compliance with federal regulations is no easy task, but managed service providers are increasingly used as a means to overcome these challenges. Now, analytics and other intelligence solutions, along with a proverbial universe of new best practices being released by various types of advocates and government agencies, are helping to reduce the strain on the sector.

A look inside
TechCrunch recently explained some of the ways in which medical firm operations are being disrupted by new trends, as well as what medical firms can and should be doing to reduce outages and setbacks when transformations come to pass. Remember, virtually ever industry out there is facing a wide range of novel threats, opportunities and demands, but the health care sector might be the most weighed down by changes given how complex the evolution has been thus far.

According to the news provider, a clear indication that digitization is spreading quickly across the sector can be found in some of the research released over the past two years, with one study estimating a 200 percent increase in investments between 2010 and 2014. The level of investment in new technologies among health care providers is expected to continue rising for years to come, especially with novel trends such as the Internet of Things heating up.

The source noted that health care organizations and the technology firms they use will need to ensure that strong standards and practices are being followed every step of the way to mitigate risk, but these entities are already excelling with more robust innovation to improve patient experiences.

The applications of more advanced technology are virtually boundless, as evidenced by plenty of new services and strategies gaining traction in the medical field.

"Traditionally, our health care system has left consumers to discover and engage with the services they need during the moments when they have the least amount of time and support: when they're sick and in need of help," Collective Health Director of Design Susan Dybbs told TechCrunch. "Collective Health upends this paradigm with a people-centered design framework. By using data and real-time triggers, we deliver our members the information and tools they need, right when they need it - no matter the use case."

At the end of the day, medical firms and their patients will continue to become more digitally interactive, and this will continue to intensify some of the privacy and security risks that have prevailed throughout the past several years.

Intelligence in high demand
Risk analysis and intelligence solutions have become highly popular in health care and other sectors given the immense improvements that can be made to decision-making, which in turn better protects medical firms from disruption and security failures. MarketsandMarkets recently released the results of its Risk Analytics Market by Solutions - Forecast and Analysis to 2020 report, which found that firms will spend roughly $13.8 billion globally this year on the technology.

What's more, that number is set to rise to $26.3 billion in global annual spending by the end of this decade, representing a compound annual growth rate of more than 13.8 percent through the next five years. Alongside effective security solutions, risk analytics tools and proper data management can help to fuel significant performance improvements in health care, and likely will more commonly in the coming years.