Cybercriminals tend to prefer orchestrating and planning attacks that cause the least disruption to targets and other parties. It’s not surprising that healthcare is the most vulnerable sector. These are some strategies that can be used to increase healthcare cybersecurity.
These tips will be useful even for people not directly involved in the healthcare sector. This is because better cyberdefense strengthens our medical system for anyone who might need it in the future.
Look at Data to Determine Cybersecurity Shortcomings
Data professionals know that looking at trends in information can provide valuable insights that may be overlooked. This is also true for those who wish to protect the medical sector from cyberattacks.
Historical data may show that cybersecurity mistakes in an organization are largely due to external service providers. If so, that suggests a need to vet vendors more thoroughly before working with them.
The data may also reveal that cybersecurity teams took on average seven days to find all issues detected over the past two years. In that case, a valid strategy may be to explore technologies that can aid in quicker detection, such as artificial intelligence (AI).
Data analysis can also be used to identify potential process improvements. Statisticians might find that security updates are required by three-quarters of computers within a hospital wing. This finding might highlight the benefits of an update system that automatically updates all machines, eliminating the need for users to download and install new software.
It is useful to review the data after obtaining feedback from staff. An IT leader might ask employees at a facility to rank their top five cybersecurity concerns or challenges. These responses might surprise you and help pinpoint the cybersecurity aspects that make healthcare workers most confused, overwhelmed, or ill-equipped.
Strategically Allocate Investments in Cyber Defenses
A November 2020 study found that 73% of cybersecurity specialists at medical organizations lacked the infrastructure to adequately respond to a cyberattack. 96% of respondents agreed that criminals are working faster than the efforts to strengthen an organization’s defenses.
Despite organizations spending more on cybersecurity in healthcare, these findings suggest that decision-makers need to be careful about where their cybersecurity budgets are going. The persistent shortage of cybersecurity talent means that hiring for unfilled positions could take longer than anticipated.
The survey found that 69% of C-suite respondents increased their cybersecurity consulting budgets in 2021. This can help fill in any gaps and allow experts to provide faster assessments while candidates continue their search for permanent jobs.
The responsible people working in healthcare organizations need to monitor metrics to see if the technology or procedures that were implemented recently have the expected return on their investment. They may not always pay off, but if they do, it doesn’t mean they won’t. It may be necessary to modify the existing approaches in order to make them more efficient.
Provide Staff With Relevant Training
It is important to educate staff about cybersecurity in healthcare. Cybercriminals are often misled by hackers, so employees don’t instinctively understand how to respond.
More than 1,750 healthcare professionals were surveyed by Kaspersky in a 2019 survey. The results showed that 32% of respondents had never received cybersecurity training, but they should have. A similar percentage of respondents reported having read the cybersecurity policy for their company, but only once.
It doesn’t suffice to give workers cybersecurity education, or even mention that the company has a cybersecurity policy. The knowledge employees need to be able to apply to real-world cybersecurity situations. Regular training gives them the skills they need to respond properly — even if that only means reporting a suspicious email to a cybersecurity team leader.
Employees will be better equipped to spot the latest tactics of cybercriminals if they are given ongoing training. Phishing emails, for example, have become more convincing and personalized, which makes it easier for victims to fall for them.
healthcare professionals are used to receiving regular training to learn about industry updates. Federal health authorities announced recent changes to Medicare billing’s physician fee schedule (PFS). While the updates may not increase or decrease spending by more than $20 million, the health community believes these changes will increase payments for providers and office-based services. Ongoing education gives people the most current details they need to do their jobs well.
Encourage Good Password Hygiene
Healthcare cybersecurity is not only possible with the most expensive and high-tech investments. It is possible for organizations to make progress by reminding employees of the safety precautions they should take when accessing portals that require passwords. Between their email services, organization-specific apps, and the tools they use to perform specific duties, people may have dozens of passwords that they use during a typical workday.
Poor password habits can include using the same passwords across multiple websites or choosing passwords that are easy to remember and difficult for others to guess. All of these actions can allow hackers to gain more access. A single password can be used to gain access to multiple websites.
Multifactor authentication is a simple way to prevent cybersecurity problems in healthcare settings. This is because account holders need more than just a password. The second piece of information that is required is often a code sent via text message or email. This approach reduces the chance of cybercriminals breaking down all defenses to prevent unauthorized account access.
It is also important that healthcare professionals do not share passwords with their colleagues. This is often done innocently. For example, if a colleague needs immediate access to a portal but the help desk staff is not available to assist them with their password reset or other issues.
It may seem like the best thing to do in a hurry in healthcare is to share a password with another employee and allow them to continue their work. These actions can cause security breaches that are not protected by smart password habits.
Take an All-Encompassing Approach to healthcare Cybersecurity
These tips should be followed and everyone must keep in mind that cyberattacks can be prevented. Even though the risks are higher for those who work with patient records and other data regularly, healthcare workers most likely use email and computers which can open up to cybersecurity incidents.
To improve cybersecurity, it is important to understand how each employee, process, and piece of equipment can be involved in or contribute towards a cyberattack. The medical sector can be protected against IT-related incidents by being aware of the risks and taking proactive steps to reduce them.