Healthcare cyber exposure and cybercrimes are on the rise in the United States, especially with the spread of COVID-19. As providers are inundated with patients, they are also managing increased sensitive patient information. But even without a global pandemic, the industry is increasingly becoming a target for hackers and cyber exposures. In fact, 2019 saw a 37-percent increase in data breaches compared to 2018.
Meanwhile, medical records sell for $1,000 online, and efforts to repair the damage left by cyber-attacks on personal information can be costly and time-consuming. Still, healthcare organizations may struggle with knowing how and where to take specific actions. These companies need to consider adopting the following healthcare cybersecurity best practices to protect their networks better.
Start with a Network Assessment
Healthcare organizations sometimes overlook the need to examine the vulnerabilities of their infrastructure. That’s why it’s essential to have regular third-party network assessments to help organizations identify cyber exposures in their systems. These can be useful as systems evaluate needs after mergers or in everyday operations. Network security assessments can identify problems and visibility to effectively plan healthcare cyber exposure prevention strategies.
Secure All Medical Devices
The great thing about technology in the healthcare industry is that it makes accessing information more efficient and accessible. However, healthcare cybersecurity issues are spreading throughout the industry as tech is making information more readily available. Sensitive patient information is leaked, and it’s also opening the door to significant financial losses.
Organizational challenges around device ownership are common, making it hard to know who’s using a particular tool and if they’re taking steps to protect it from cyberattacks. For traditional IT devices, you have an IT network to depend on. But with medical devices, they’re relevant to anyone in any age group.
To combat this growing problem, IT teams should focus on visibility to enhance device security. Healthcare organizations need to know what’s on their networks to protect it. From there, companies can actively monitor and segment medical devices onto their private networks. This can end up helping organizations to be better secured against cybersecurity attacks and contain any lateral movements attempted by a cyber threat.
Always Educate Staff
Doctors, physicians, and administrative staff at a hospital are becoming easier-to-reach targets for hackers who want to steal information. Today’s cybersecurity attacks target people, not just the technology they use. Today’s hackers have learned to exploit the people who run hospitals and healthcare offices.
Educating all staff on the value of cybersecurity in a clinical setting is crucial to protecting valuable patient and company information. Deploying tabletop exercises with a focus on actual consequences can help to ensure the message makes an impact.
About Highland Risk
At Highland Risk, we use our expertise and experience to provide insurance information and programs to those who serve long-term care and senior living facilities. Since 2007, we’ve been offering insurance and risk management plans designed to help our agents give their clients the ability to achieve continued growth while simultaneously protecting against loss, containing costs and increasing profitability. With three offices to serve you in Chicago, Illinois; Phoenix, Arizona; and Burlington, Connecticut, we do everything we can to make your experience with us as professional and transparent as possible. To learn more, contact us at (877) 890-9301.