Healthcare Cybersecurity

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Healthcare Cybersecurity

Many global experts, such as KPMG, are mentioning reports that cybersecurity for healthcare would be a top concern for small to medium practices in 2022.

This is not a surprise once we look at the past two years and how various businesses in the US have faced huge losses due to cyberattacks. Healthcare is a core part of the US economy, and considering what it protects, it is the most vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Therefore, small-scale healthcare companies such as clinics, hospitals, insurance providers, and others often wonder about healthcare cybersecurity.

At this point, it is important to create or revisit the cybersecurity policy of your organization. In this article, we will have a detailed discussion on cybersecurity in healthcare, why it is crucial, and how to secure it effectively.

What is the Importance of Cybersecurity in Healthcare?

Everyone in the healthcare sector is aware of regulations like HIPAA, which make it vital to protect patient data. Everyone realizes the importance of this protection, whether it is the people in the industry or the people (such as patients) interacting with the industry.

Even the hackers realize the importance of this data and understand what it means for healthcare organizations. Therefore, more and more cyberattacks occur on healthcare companies to lure money in return for their data.

Even minor breaches in the security of a healthcare organization can lead to significant losses. Many instances have occurred where small healthcare businesses had to shut down completely after being a victim of a cyberattack.

Therefore, ensuring proper cybersecurity measures is extremely crucial for businesses operating in the healthcare sector.

Who Is Affected By Poor Healthcare Cybersecurity Practices?

Many parties get affected by a poor cybersecurity setup in a healthcare company. Mainly, the parties that are at a loss in case of a cyberattack are:

Healthcare Company Executives:

The C-level executives of a healthcare organization are responsible for the action plan of the company. In the case of a poor setup that leaves open loops for cyberattacks, the blame falls on this very level.

If you are an executive or an administrator, it may seem unreasonable because many times, the healthcare cyber attacks occur due to the negligence of employees.

However, with a proper cybersecurity plan such as Tekkis healthcare cybersecurity protection, you get employee training as well. Therefore, as an executive, it is easy to avoid a cyberattack with the right strategy in place.
Learn about Tekkis Healthcare Cybersecurity

Healthcare Employees:

As we just stated, it is common for untrained employees to leave open doors for cyberattacks. Most of the time the employees responsible aren’t even aware that a breach has occurred because of them.

Therefore, after a cyberattack, it is usual for employees to get fired as a method of placing the blame. It is vital for healthcare employees to be aware of healthy cybersecurity practices, not just to protect patient data but also to protect their jobs.

Patients:

People value their privacy just as much as they value their healthcare. When a healthcare organization becomes a victim of a cyberattack, many of its patients lose faith and shift their business elsewhere.

In worst-case scenarios where the organization is at fault due to negligence, it can lead to potential lawsuits by the patients as well.

Healthcare Business Stakeholders:

People who have invested in the healthcare organization are gravely affected by a cyberattack on the organization. A cyberattack aims to disrupt normal operations and causes heavy financial losses.

The stakeholders of the business have to bear these financial losses. In case there is a breach of patient data, the bad reputation can cause loss of business or even the complete shutting down of the healthcare organization.

Elements of Cybersecurity in Healthcare

When you are talking about healthcare cybersecurity, you need to protect multiple elements in your system. These elements include:

Physical System Access:

Every system present in your healthcare facility is a potential entryway to your healthcare organization’s network and data.

If any malicious entity gets physical access to these systems, they can view patients’ private data and even plant gateways in the cyberinfrastructure for later access.

Therefore, there should be physical security measures in place to protect every device, be it a computer, laptop, or any other network-connected device.

Additionally, employees need to understand the importance of not leaving their devices unattended without locking them properly.

Wireless Network:

Hospitals and clinics have WiFi networks so all the devices on the premises can be simultaneously connected to the network. This enables seamless data sharing and synchronization across the organization.

However, without proper protection, these wireless networks are easy to tap by hackers even without accessing any internal devices physically. Therefore, protecting these networks with appropriate protocols becomes vital.

Contact us to learn of our detailed Cybersecurity guide on how to protect your wireless network to learn more about these protocols.

Emails:

Emails are the primary channel for communication and file sharing in healthcare businesses, regardless of their size.

While no one is going to breach your email network if you are used reputed email service, it is still easy to gain access to private email communications. This occurs through a method known as phishing.

You can attend our free business cybersecurity webinar to understand how to protect against phishing and other cyberattacks.
Register for Webinar

Legacy Systems:

Legacy systems are software services that have become outdated and are no longer supported by the manufacturer. Without manufacturer support and security patches, these are very easy targets for cyberattacks.

These systems can include an entire operating system or particular applications. They are widely present in healthcare organizations because upgrading applications can be expensive as it requires software purchases and employee training on the new systems.

Mobile Devices:

Nowadays, most ERM software used by healthcare organizations comes with mobile connectivity for smartphones and tablets. Breaching the security of these devices is very easy, therefore, you need to learn how to safeguard against these breaches.

Threats to Healthcare Cybersecurity

There are multiple threats to the cyber security of healthcare companies. There is no single application or measure that will protect you from all these threats, and you need conjunction of steps based on the current needs of your organization.

While bigger companies have access to internal cybersecurity teams, this is not an option for small to medium healthcare organizations operating within a budget. This is why they resort to Tekkis Cybersecurity healthcare protection plan that envelops the entire cyber infrastructure of the healthcare organization.

Some of the threats that you get protection from include:

Ransomware:

Ransomware is an emerging threat to US businesses in the recent times. The instances of ransomware attacks have seen a surge in the last two years.

Healthcare ransomware attacks are also prevalent, so executives need to understand what they are before they take measures to protect against them.

In a ransomware attack, attackers infect the target systems and lock their data completely. The data isn’t released until the healthcare organization pays a ransom to the attacker. If the ransom isn’t paid, the data is publicly released in many cases.

You can imagine what a nightmare this can be for any business, especially the ones working in the healthcare sector.

Fortunately, Tekkis Cybersecurity has dedicated ransomware experts that eliminate the possibility of ransomware attacks for current clients. For any business that has become the victim of a ransomware attack, Tekkis can provide their services to mitigate the risks and losses.

Phishing:

Phishing is the most common cyberattack in healthcare sector. In phishing attacks, hackers redirect the healthcare employees to fake websites that appear to be genuine.

When the employee enters their credentials on this fake website, these credentials are passed on to the attacker. They use these credentials to access the private user accounts of the healthcare organization, thereby accessing their data.

A very specific type of phishing attack is spear phishing, where the attack is designed to lure a specific employee.

Phishing in healthcare is generally done by sending fraudulent email to the target(s). These emails appear to be genuine and might appear to be from a software vendor or the staff itself.
Learn more about Phishing

Internal Network Attacks:

Previously in this article, we were talking about how a weak wireless security can be harmful to your organization.

This is because weak wireless networks allow external elements to connect to the network. Once connected, hackers can analyze data packets to find out all the information you are sending across the internet.

This can include your credentials, your financial data, your patient data, reports, communication, and more.

There are many types of such attacks possible. However, understanding all of them can be a lengthy process and outside the scope of this article.

How to Implement Health Care Cybersecurity?

Handling cyber security in healthcare is not as difficult as you might have thought it to be. You don’t even have to maintain any major portion of your budget for the same.

We realize that small businesses such as yours cannot maintain an internal cybersecurity team due to resource constrictions. Therefore, we have an alternative healthcare cybersecurity strategy for you:

Getting an Initial Consultation:

Before you spend even a dime on any service or software related to cybersecurity for healthcare, you need to know where you stand currently.

For this purpose, Tekkis Cybersecurity provides a free consultation to you. You can use this health care cybersecurity consultation at a time of your convenience.

In this consultation, a top cybersecurity professional will get in touch with you to discuss your needs. Tekkis also provides a free limited demo along with a detailed report of the findings.

There are many benefits of availing the free cybersecurity consultation. Let us go through some of these benefits:

Why Opt For Free Healthcare Cybersecurity Consultation?

  • You get one-on-one real time insight of your network and the loopholes present right now.
  • It is a no-obligation offer, meaning that if you don’t feel like availing Tekkis’s services after the consultation, you don’t have to.
  • There is no signup required and Tekkis will not ask you to provide any financial information at any point.
  • Through the consultation, you can learn about the tailored cybersecurity that are the perfect match for your needs.

Security Controls

Once you are through with the consultation, you will have to implement the various security controls that Tekkis suggests. If you are a busy organization with no time to spare, Tekkis can assist you with the implementation as well.

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Some of the common security controls that Tekkis utilizes for healthcare organizations are:

Employee Training:

Employee training is the spinal element of any cybersecurity initiative. Regardless of how high end security measures you use, if your employees aren’t trained it all becomes worthless.

Employees who understand the basics of cybersecurity can easily differentiate between genuine workflows and suspicious attack signals such as phishing emails.

The good part is that you do not have to host seminars or send your employees to conferences. The cybersecurity experts at Tekkis can easily provide webinars, educational sessions, and informational manuals to your employees.

Security Software:

Antivirus and firewall software might seem overstated, but it is so because of how important they are. However, we aren’t talking about the common applications that you find on the internet. The popular solutions are one size fits all solutions.

What you need are tailored security solutions that fit your network perfectly, without wasting any resources and without leaving any open loops.

Tekkis provides the perfect blanket in this regard, providing you with self-designed tailored security suites that are impossible to crack by attackers.

Access Controls:

Many executives miss out on access controls, leading to anonymous attacks due to internal malicious elements of the organization.

With access controls, you give each employee the exact permissions they require, nothing more and nothing less. Access controls also make it easy to take these permissions away from a person with a single click once they leave your organization.

File Encryption:

Healthcare cybersecurity calls for proper file encryption measures not only to protect data from hackers, but also to maintain HIPAA compliance.

Surprisingly, file encryption protocols in most healthcare organizations are either poor or altogether absent.

Tekkis works in this regard to provide the highest level of file encryption to each stage of file storage.

Disaster Recovery Plan:

Good cybersecurity measures can shield you against cyberattacks. However, nothing can shield you from accidents that happen inside the organization. These accidents might be due to human error, or due to any technological issue.

It is common for storage systems to get corrupted or for cyber infrastructure to entirely fail. What will you do in this case and how will you gain access to your data again?

Foreseeing these issues, Tekkis also provides healthcare organizations with a disaster recovery plan that can be automatically deployed when disaster strikes.

Besides these security controls, Tekkis provides many other defense measures as well. To get a clearer understanding, you can request a callback from Tekkis Cybersecurity team.

Endnotes

A decade or two ago, you could ignore the dependence of healthcare organizations on cybersecurity. All data wasn’t digital, and all digital devices weren’t connected to the network.

However, times are different now, and internet and EMR form the backbone of today’s healthcare infrastructure.

Therefore, for effective functioning, cyber security for healthcare should be something high on your list if you want uninterrupted functioning of your organization.

Talk to an Tekkis expert today and get a one stop solution to all your cybersecurity requirements rightaway!

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