Planning Is the Key to Cybersecurity in Healthcare

There is only one absolute when it comes to cybersecurity every organization is under threat! And the risk is even higher in healthcare. Unfortunately, everything else is uncertain. No organization can claim to be immune to attack, protected from all threats, or perfectly prepared for the next big breach.

Good planning is the only way to prepare for ever-evolving threats. Especially when attacks are coming from multiple angles. And as more connected technologies enter the industry, more security gaps are created as a result.

Detecting and deflecting all threats may be impossible, but it is possible to manage and mitigate the damage. For effective cybersecurity in healthcare, take these steps to ensure that no gaps appear in your plans.

Identify Every Vulnerability
Understanding the who/what/when/where/why of what needs to be protected is the essential first step in cyber planning. This applies to hardware, software, data, employees, facilities, and even finances. For instance, organizations without cyber insurance may face greater fiscal consequences than just technological ones. Once every area of risk is understood, organizations can begin to systematically apply protections.

Focus on Mobile Devices and Access Controls
Two security issues plague healthcare organizations "“ giving the wrong people access to data/networks and letting unsecured mobile devices access sensitive information. Developing policies and protocols are the only ways to reliably address every access point and every mobile device. This approach also ensures that cybersecurity does not get in the way of efficiency or productivity.

Test and Retest
It's likely that your current cybersecurity strategies are a response to present conditions. But that does not necessarily mean they are adequate against all future threats. Testing protections and networks for vulnerabilities help ensure that no gaps are present and that any existing vulnerabilities are closed ASAP. Testing can be a time and labor-intensive process. Still, it must be performed regularly to ensure healthcare organizations stay one step ahead of hackers.

Monitor in Real Time
A cybersecurity strategy that does not include real-time monitoring is inherently incomplete. If this is the case, healthcare organizations run the risk of being attacked without even realizing it. This can cause big problems and lead to embarrassing questions. How was the attack carried out? What are the consequences? Why don't you know? Should patients be worried about leaked data? Confusion and chaos make mitigating the damage harder and opens the organization to the risk of repeated attacks.

Train and Educate Employees
Unfortunately, employees are the single biggest cybersecurity threat healthcare organizations face. Users with access are in the best position to allow hackers inside of defenses, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Luckily, employees are also the single greatest line of defense if they have been properly educated about cybersecurity. Ensure that your staff is trained on best practices. This effort should include employees at all levels, address every conceivable threat, and encourage employees to report suspicions/incidents without threat of punishment.

Any healthcare organization that takes these factors into account is on its way to being safe and secure. Staying that way, however, requires constant evaluation, revision, and reinvestment. Learn more about cybersecurity in healthcare and take a comprehensive approach to cyber coverage when you visit CyberPolicy.

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