Things Hospitals Need to Do to Reduce Healthcare Cyberattacks

reduce healthcare cyberattacks

The incorporation of technology in healthcare delivery has put healthcare organizations on the frontend for cybercrimes which are on the rise and unrelenting. Growing data breach occurrences and cyber assaults have raised concerns about organization’s cybersecurity plans. Increased client information demand and frequently delayed IT implementation is why healthcare is today’s most cyber-attack prone industry. Today’s hospitals and other health care centres deal with terabytes of patient information. Confidential data that’s worth a lot of money to hackers who sell it on the black market – making the industry a growing target for potent healthcare cybersecurity solutions.

Malicious attacks are especially devastating to healthcare organizations due to the direct and detrimental effects they have on patient information and operational systems, thus stifling medical advancement. How can hospitals reduce such incidents on themselves? Let’s explore more about cyber hygiene steps that can disrupt cyber attackers from infiltrating your business:

Cyber hygiene relates to the practices and precautions users take to keep sensitive data organized, safe, and secure from data theft and cyber-attacks. These practices are often part of a routine to ensure identity and other details are safe.

Healthcare providers can significantly enhance their cyber hygiene by adopting a healthcare cybersecurity solution with a multi-faceted approach including the following measures:

Continuous Monitoring and Risk Management:

  • Implement a programmatic approach to risk management, ensuring cross-functional workflows, and coordination across high-value assets.
  • Continuously monitor device performance and introduce security metrics to supply chain/procurement managers to maintain a security stance with partners. 
  • Monitor access logs, devices, and networks on a continuous basis to find abnormalities and report them before there is a breach of privacy. 
  • Evaluate potential risks in your network, devices, and systems and formulate strategies to reduce the impact of a cyber attack.

Encryption and Access Control

  • Use device and file encryption to protect sensitive information. 
  • Ensure workplace firewalls, and routers are properly set up and configured to keep out cyber threats. 
  • Identify all the critical resources through which access can be compromised and secure them. 
  • Implement Role-based Access Control (RBAC) and Principle of Least Privilege (POLP) so that users have access to limited resources. 
  • Ensure the data is encrypted both in transit and at rest to ensure no unauthorized interception of data takes place.

Create an Incident Response Plan

  • Develop a plan for responding to cyber threats which includes steps to identify, contain, and mitigate cyber threats. 
  • The response plan reduces the chaos during the attack and keeps your team informed about what steps need to be taken. 
  • It also reduces the risk of non-adherence to compliance as it often involves reporting the incident to authorities within a stipulated timeframe. 
  • Conduct mock-drills with IT teams through simulations and document the whole process to improve your response. 

Cybersecurity Training and Awareness Programs:

  • Implement targeted training modules to promote cyber awareness amongst employees. 
  • Educate employees through simulation sessions on phishing and other cyber-attacks vectors which promote their ability to recognize an attack. 
  • This not only reduces the chances of compromising any sensitive information but also strengthens the security posture of the overall organization. 
  • Establish a reporting mechanism for staff to report incidents.

Security Updates and Patch Management

  • Don’t overlook security updates in your systems and devices as they contain security patches against unknown vulnerabilities. 
  • Timely update your devices and implement patch management for known vulnerabilities. 
  • Conduct regular vulnerability assessments to identify new patch requirements and update them.

Employee Engagement:

  • Create a cybersecurity culture that permeates the organization, involving end users in cybersecurity practices and ensuring they understand the importance of cyber hygiene.  
  • Encourage employees to regularly back up critical files and stay up to date on emerging phishing and malware tactics.

Policy and Procedure Development

  • Formulate policies regarding information security, backup, antivirus, patch management, data handling, and incident reporting. 
  • Align the policies with security compliance frameworks to reduce the chances of non-adherence. 
  • Develop baselines and procedures for secure system configuration and maintenance.

With the threat landscape constantly changing, healthcare organizations need to establish strong cybersecurity measures that will safeguard against cyber threats and their effects. It is worth noting that cyber hygiene can be helpful in following regulations, avoiding penalties from regulatory bodies, and fostering trust with healthcare legislations. It also protects the organization against evolving cyber threats as they upgrade in providing data integrity that is vital in the treatment and care of patients. But which strategy to deploy to manage threats? You might need an expert who knows your vulnerabilities better than you do. That’s where we come in! PeoplActive a leading healthcare cybersecurity solution provider, specializing in cybersecurity services for healthcare businesses. With our assistance, you will be able to strengthen your defences, improve data protection, and ensure smooth operations so you can concentrate on providing the highest-quality patient care. Trust PeoplActive to be your partner in navigating the complex landscape of healthcare cybersecurity.

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