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Healthcare Cybersecurity Best Practices

Healthcare Cybersecurity Best Practices

Given the high volume of confidential information healthcare organizations process and manage during daily operations, it’s no surprise the industry is considered the biggest target for cyberattacks. Unfortunately, many healthcare organizations still rely on outdated legacy systems, increasing their risk of a data breach. Investing in cybersecurity services — or expanding your existing investments — is vital for securing your organization moving forward.

Purpose-built healthcare IT solutions such as data discovery, managed cloud platforms and regulatory compliance services help organizations take a proactive approach to managing risk.

Ensure HIPAA Regulatory Compliance

All organizations dealing with electronic protected health information (ePHI) must implement and follow physical and digital security measures to ensure compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Advanced medical cybersecurity solutions can help enable compliance while minimizing the impact to internal resources and keeping costs predictable.

For example, the HIPAA Security Rule requires organizations to retain all electronic patient communications for a minimum of six years. Email archiving and secure messaging solutions can help achieve this task, but many small medical offices and mid-sized organizations lack the resources or IT experience needed to manage these technologies properly.

Managed IT services provide healthcare organizations with access to skilled professionals and robust technology resources so they can better manage compliance requirements. The Security Rule requires covered organizations to consider the following when evaluating which security measures to use:

  • Necessary technical infrastructure, including hardware and software
  • The size, complexity and capabilities of your solution
  • The likelihood and potential impact of risks to ePHI

Smart Comply, Omega’s comprehensive managed compliance solution, helps companies accurately assess and improve their HIPAA compliance status. By combining automated technology with ongoing support from our expert team, we help companies streamline the regulatory compliance process.

Explore regulatory compliance for healthcare

Discover All Data

Healthcare organizations regularly collect a high volume of data from diverse sources such as patients, insurance providers and clinical support systems, among many others. And this list is only expanding.

That’s why data discovery and classification is a critical component of medical cybersecurity. It works by locating, organizing and prioritizing data based on the following criteria:

  • Risk profile
  • Typical usage
  • Data type
  • Applicable regulations

Through machine-learning, data discovery tools enable your organization to simplify data management and reduce cybersecurity risk. By continually scanning your network for vulnerabilities, data discovery software can track threats across your organization and pinpoint the sensitive data most at risk for a breach – even calculating the potential financial implications to your organization if a breach were to occur.

Discovery is the foundational component of Smart Comply. Our proprietary solution begins by locating and classifying all types of sensitive data throughout your system using advanced, automated tools. This key component allows us to evaluate your overall risk at any point in time, which helps enable an effective data protection and regulatory compliance strategy.

Require Cyber Awareness Training for Staff

Healthcare organizations need to prioritize teaching employees how to prevent cyberattacks

Your staff should be your first line of defense against malicious threats. But all too often, employees unwittingly become a criminal’s gateway into the organization. With such a large target on the industry, healthcare organizations need to prioritize teaching employees how to prevent cyberattacks.

Investing in cyber awareness training services helps arm your staff against would-be attackers by educating them about how to recognize and respond to threats. Security threats are constantly changing, so these services should be required on a periodic basis and go beyond the surface to continually review and improve employee knowledge.

Annual employee assessments can help your organization gauge the effectiveness of your information security training strategy so you can understand your strengths and weak points. For example, a managed phishing simulation can help train and prepare your users to recognize and avoid sophisticated social engineering schemes and improve your company’s overall defenses against these types of clever and malicious vulnerabilities.

Conduct Regular Risk Assessments

Given the sophistication of modern security threats, healthcare organizations need to take a proactive, risk-centric approach to managing their data.

Regular vulnerability assessments help your organization discover and resolve critical gaps in your IT security program before a breach can happen. While you can perform your own risk assessment, outsourcing to a reliable managed security services provider (MSSP) can give you access to resources that may not have been available to your organization otherwise – and relieve the unnecessary burden on your internal teams.

At Omega Systems, we offer several types of IT risk assessments to address various concerns, including network security, cybersecurity and data discovery. We evaluate your existing controls and identify gaps and at-risk data during our assessment.

Upon completion, our team will analyze their findings and provide a report containing recommendations for remediating these weak spots. You’ll gain valuable insights that will guide future decision-making, helping you sustain your reputation as a reliable healthcare provider.

Modernize Cloud Infrastructure

Organizations with fully deployed security and automation tools can identify and contain data breaches sooner than those using legacy systems. But many healthcare organizations still rely on on-premise infrastructures and/or legacy cloud systems that lack the capabilities to quickly contain and resolve data breaches.

Healthcare companies can reduce their risk of a breach by:

  • Migrating data from legacy systems into modern cloud environments
  • Updating cloud access controls and security policies
  • Requiring user verification for access to cloud services
  • Closing gaps in misconfigured cloud systems

Leveraging industry-leading cloud hosting services enables your organization to stay on top of changing technologies, regulations and threats — so you can continuously adapt to the ever-evolving medical cybersecurity landscape. Look for a solution that includes long-term consulting services so you can proactively plan for your organization’s future needs.

Monitoring & Rapid Response Plan

Omega Systems' SOC helps respond quickly to security alerts and prevent malicious activity

Organizations have an increasingly limited window of time to detect and respond to cyberattacks before they suffer serious damage. This is especially true in the healthcare industry, where attackers could disrupt life-saving systems.

As a result, creating a monitoring and rapid response plan is one of the most important cybersecurity tips for healthcare organizations. A rapid response plan lets you quickly respond to various security incidents and quickly limit any potential damage your organization may sustain.

Outsourcing these tasks to a reliable medical cybersecurity provider like Omega Systems allows your organization to leverage resources you may otherwise lack, which can accelerate time-to-resolution and mitigate potential damage.

From proactive threat monitoring and hunting to incident response planning and assistance, our cybersecurity consultants are trained to help healthcare companies reduce the likelihood of devastating security incidents – as well as swiftly and efficiently respond when breaches do occur.

Our in-house Security Operations Center (SOC) has an eye on customer environments 24×7 so they can keep a pulse on industry threats, help prevent malicious activity from infiltrating networks and respond quickly to security alerts.

Omega Systems Is Ready to Assist with Healthcare Cybersecurity

Healthcare companies need to prioritize advanced IT protections to protect patient data and mitigate risk. At Omega Systems, we provide fully managed IT solutions to reduce your risk of security incidents and enable ongoing compliance with industry regulations like HIPAA. We tailor our services to fit your organization’s unique needs, allowing us to create a comprehensive solution that aligns with your unique resources, budget and regulatory needs.

Secure your IT environment with help from Omega Systems. Contact us today for more information about our managed security and compliance services for the healthcare industry.

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