Healthcare IT: How Often Are You Checking Your Network for Security Risks?

It’s official. Healthcare data breaches and cyber attacks have already reared their ugly digital heads in 2019. A recently released HIPAA Journal report demonstrated that, despite a respectable dip in cyber attacks throughout December 2018, January data breach events at healthcare facilities across the country rose to above typical levels. The first month of the year averaged more than one breach per day, with 33 total data loss episodes logged by the close of January 2019, causing many healthcare facilities to wonder, “How often are we checking our network for security risks?”

Unfortunately, the standard answer across medical facilities of every size and scope is simply, “Not often enough.” Most healthcare IT departments are already spread too thin supporting the day-to-day needs of personnel and patients. They just don’t have the additional staff, available resources (aka tools and time), and necessary cybersecurity expertise required to proactively identify and manage system vulnerabilities across every location, leaving their entire infrastructure susceptible to an attack.

Consistent Network Security Scans Can Prevent Cyber Threats At Healthcare Facilities

Sporadic testing and scanning are no longer enough to drive data loss prevention efforts throughout your healthcare organization. Today’s hackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, utilizing complex technologies to circumvent a myriad of security measures. Worse yet, all a scammer needs is to find just one system compromise in order to establish a sturdy foothold within your network. The best way to prevent a hacker from infiltrating the network security at your medical organization is to implement a company-wide standard for consistent and thorough vulnerability evaluations.

The benefits of routine network security risk assessments include:

Designating Cybersecurity Threats

More specifically, systematically testing your network designates potential cybersecurity threats before scammers find them. Staying one step ahead of hackers on a global scale can play a pivotal role in keeping your digital platforms fortified against a cyber attack.

Developing A Complete Device Inventory

Legacy equipment, coupled with healthcare’s ever-increasing dependency on procuring new connected medical devices, can pose a serious threat to cybersecurity at medical facilities across every specialty. In the wake of rapid organic growth, corporate accumulation, and services expansion, many healthcare organizations don’t have a solid understanding of the total number of devices found throughout their enterprise channels. Effective cybersecurity practices establish a complete inventory of all associated apparatus, outlining the critical system information needed to not only boost cybersecurity efforts but also assist with future equipment upgrades.

Maintaining Regulatory Compliance

Healthcare organizations are subjected to a myriad of HIPAA regulations and requirements that mandate the highest levels of network security to protect patient data. Conducting rigorous network vulnerability evaluations helps your healthcare organization establish and maintain regulatory industry compliance standards.

Establishing An Internal Cybersecurity Culture

Yes, external malware and hackers pose a significant risk to network security throughout the medical community. However, many administrators and executives don’t realize that one of the biggest threats to their digital platforms is actually their internal team of employees. Even the most trustworthy staff member can compromise your organization’s network security without even realizing it. Consistent training and awareness programs help establish an internal culture that prioritizes secure emails and system safety, educating your team on the best practices to use when performing a multitude of online tasks.

Don’t have time to manage network security assessments for your healthcare organization? We can help. Fortified Health Security creates agile, customized solutions to help our healthcare organizations identify and proactively prevent data breaches. Contact our team today to hear more.