Five questions you should be asking about cybersecurity

Sep 18, 2017

The threat of hackers stealing private information and holding it for ransom is real, and the healthcare industry has become a prime target – in fact, phishing as emerged as the top security threat facing healthcare organizations. Criminals employ a variety of highly-targeted methods to breach data security. That means, as a provider, you must protect your patients’ private information by using equally dynamic security solutions.

To accurately assess your healthcare organization’s current level of cybersecurity readiness, you need a basic understanding of your requirements and capabilities.

Do you have an accurate inventory of the devices linked to your system? Are there firewalls in place? Have you implemented network segmentation to limit the damage of a compromised device?

This information is vital to accurately identifying the best applications and vendors in the healthcare security marketplace. Here are five key questions to help you better understand your organization’s cybersecurity strengths and weaknesses:

What is your security policy?

When it comes to cyberattacks, battle lines and defined perimeters do not exist. Attacks come from everywhere and have become increasingly more deceptive and pervasive. Creating a policy of proactive healthcare security is the first step to building a winning strategy and staying one step ahead of the bad guys. Building cyber resilience is key, and that goes beyond securing your perimeter.

What are your security objectives?

Have a flexible strategy and a clear set of goals. Start with a basic, scalable plan to adapt as your healthcare security needs grow. Also consider developing a Crisis Response Plan as one of your security objectives. Managing a cybersecurity emergency is much easier with a structure and defined roles in place.

Will a product, application, or solution help you achieve security and compliance?

These two go hand in hand in the world of healthcare, but compliance does not always equal security. It’s critical to deploy a security solution that meets regulatory requirements and protects your patients’ data.

Are your employees educated about healthcare security?

Employees have a massive impact on the strengths and weaknesses of cybersecurity. Simple human error accounts for the majority of security breaches, but ongoing training easily nullifies the issue. Develop a culture of mindfulness, understanding, and accountability based on building and maintaining good habits.

From whom should you purchase a security solution?

To start, talk to your employees about their needs and what would help them better serve their patients. This not only provides you with more information, but gives employees ownership in the decision-making process and increases the likelihood they’ll use and appreciate the security solution you adopt.