A Brief Overview Of Healthcare Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a paramount concern for the healthcare sector – especially in light of recent cyberattacks and data breaches. In addition to being home to vast amounts of highly valuable data, healthcare organizations also possess unique vulnerabilities due to their enduring reliance on technology. Cybercriminals exploit these weaknesses by engineering sophisticated strategies that allow them to compromise various medical systems, applications, networks, and assets – putting sensitive patient information and confidential details at risk.

As technologies become more advanced, the need for advanced cybersecurity measures increases as well. By developing more effective security procedures and fortifying the existing protection walls with enhanced software solutions, healthcare institutions can go a long way toward ensuring their systems are defended against malicious actors.

What Is The Importance Of Cyber Security In Healthcare?

Unfortunately, the healthcare sector faces some of the highest cyber security threats and incidents due to inadequate protection surrounding highly sensitive patient data (PHI). Unfortunately, it is one of the only sectors in which cybercrime can turn into physical harm. That is why it has become even more important to develop specialized strategies that protect this information from malicious actors.

Experian notes that stolen medical records are incredibly valuable, which makes them popular targets for hackers. Thankfully, though, organizations must now invest in initiatives such as threat detection tools and employee training to protect their most sensitive data. With these measures in place, organizations can better protect their patients’ privacy and peace of mind – an invaluable asset.

What Are The Most Important Aspects Of Cybersecurity In Healthcare?

With medical cyber security playing such an important role in the industry, healthcare providers need to put rigorous safeguards in place if they want to prevent their data from falling into the wrong hands.

The most common threats:

  • Malware is a particularly concerning security breach as it could enable attackers to gain unauthorized access to system networks and sensitive healthcare information. This means that a security breach involving malware could lead to significant damage and disruption such as identity theft and operational compromise due to stolen credentials or personal data.
  • Data interception. An unsecured connection leads to high risks of data leakage. One way is to secure your internet connection using VPN apps. Medical institutions are required to utilize it as one of the way to protect data.
  • Phishing is a security threat that is especially prevalent in healthcare. Hackers are known to use phishing techniques to dupe medical personnel, who may be more likely to click on links due to pressure from patients or the need for quick access to information.
  • System vulnerabilities are a major concern for organizations of all sizes. Unpatched and out-of-date software can be just as vulnerable as recalled devices that were certified to be dangerous or banned devices used in high-risk industries.

What Are The Healthcare Industry Cybersecurity Practices?

Healthcare organizations are facing immense and constantly evolving security threats. To mitigate the risk of compromising patient safety and misusing PHI and/or PII information, healthcare organizations should adhere to established best practices for cybersecurity.

Zero Trust

Zero Trust is a cybersecurity strategy that was adopted by many modern healthcare organizations to reduce risk and control access to their systems and data. At its core, each user, device, data asset, and service is subject to the minimum necessary permissions, which restricts communications between each of these objects. For example, certain network access control (NAC) can be used for controlling access to the network and services for users and devices. Network segmentation, also known as micro-segmentation, involves isolating connected devices in order to better prevent unintended communication between them.

Training

Cybersecurity in healthcare is essential to protect patient data, services, and aids in protective compliance rules. Educating staff on cybersecurity awareness training and the potential threats of phishing emails can strengthen the ability of workers to spot risk. Healthcare organizations must not only be aware of potential external threats but internal threats as well since these can often damage an organization most profoundly. As part of cybersecurity training, staff should also be equipped with the understanding of legal requirements imposed through HIPAA rules so that they are able to fulfill their obligations when working with patient information.

Achieve visibility

Comprehensive visibility is a key component of cybersecurity in the healthcare industry. Having complete knowledge of all connected assets, services provided, data accessed, and security safeguards allow for the proactive identification of vulnerabilities and threats. This way you can understand the attack surface and take measures to protect against cybersecurity risks. One way to ensure control over all data sent is to use VPN. You can browse around here if you want to know more about how a VPN can be useful for users and organizations. With visibility, you’re empowered to protect what you can see and control how it’s used.

Risk assessments

A comprehensive risk assessment can help protect healthcare organizations from cyber threats, reduce their liability, and improve patient privacy. Considering today’s sophisticated cybercriminals, a well-performed risk assessment is one of the best lines of defense against digital attacks, as well as mitigating any legal or regulatory consequences should a breach occur.

Security controls

Security controls are essential for safeguarding sensitive healthcare data and systems from malicious actors. In addition to antivirus software and data backup/restoration platforms, organizations should also employ encrypted communication protocols, network firewalls, incident response planning, multi-factor authentication, and connected device security tools and solutions. Tools such as Ordr are particularly important for discovering and classifying every device in a healthcare system as well as examining East-West traffic for suspicious activity. With the right security controls in place, healthcare providers can decrease their risk of compromise while ensuring the safety and integrity of patient records and other sensitive information.

Final Words

Healthcare organizations have a moral and legal responsibility to protect the privacy of patient data. By implementing the right security controls, conducting risk assessments, achieving visibility, and providing regular training, healthcare providers can prevent cyberattacks and ensure that their patient’s health information remains secure. With proper cybersecurity measures in place, organizations can remain compliant with regulations.

 

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Medical Device News Magazine provides our readership with breaking medical device / biotechnology news. Our subscribers include medical specialists, device industry executives, investors, and other allied health professionals, as well as patients who are interested in researching various medical devices. We hope you find value in our easy-to-read publication and its overall objectives! Medical Device News Magazine is a division of PTM Healthcare Marketing, Inc. Pauline T. Mayer is the managing editor.

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