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Protect Patient Data with Comprehensive Healthcare Cybersecurity

As cyberthreats against healthcare organizations multiply, it’s important to make sure your organization is response ready. Here are some of the most common cybersecurity gaps healthcare organizations are missing and how to address them.
May 21, 2021

In this Article:

Empower End Users in the Defense Against Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities

Because your end users are not cybersecurity experts, it’s critically important to provide the necessary training on appropriate use of technology within the organization and how they can be active partners in the fight against potential cyberattacks. 

Develop an Understanding of Your Needs with Gap Analysis and Risk Assessment

Taking the time to look holistically at your organization’s cybersecurity environment ensures that you can address all your vulnerable areas and move forward with safeguarding sensitive information at every turn. 

Use Basic Security Controls to Protect Data at End Points

Adopting a Zero-Trust strategy that requires user authentication from more than one touchpoint is critical for shoring up digital communication channels and portals that organizations frequently use.

With more sophisticated cyberthreats against healthcare organizations on the rise, having a comprehensive cybersecurity solution in place is critical. The right cybersecurity measures can protect sensitive patient data and prevent security breaches from interfering with patient care. We connected with CDW healthcare cybersecurity experts Eddie Barnes, Nick Schurman, and Toy Wong to learn more about how organizations can develop the right cybersecurity solutions to meet their needs.

Empower End Users in the Defense Against Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities

Even if your organization has excellent cybersecurity measures in place, your end users can still expose you to risks – like the example of “Click-Happy Sam.” If Sam is prone to clicking on links in his email – regardless of sender – he may increase the possibility of cyberthreats. When Sam receives an email that looks like it may be from a trusted package carrier, he may click through the link and end up exposing your organization’s data. Therefore, it’s imperative to train employees like Sam on how to recognize these types of cyberthreats and educate them on how to be more mindful technology users.

In order for cybersecurity to be fully effective, healthcare organizations must take the time to educate their end users on how to recognize potential risks.  

Develop an Understanding of Your Cybersecurity Needs with Gap Analysis and Risk Assessment

Taking the time to look holistically at your organization’s cybersecurity environment ensures that you can address all your vulnerable areas and move forward with safeguarding sensitive information at every turn.

When it comes to identifying your cybersecurity needs, it all starts with being honest about your security gaps. Healthcare organizations should take a hard look at their baseline cybersecurity landscape and be honest about what’s needed to eliminate vulnerabilities. After all, you don’t know what you don’t know, and a thorough cybersecurity analysis is the best way to uncover your blind spots.

Gap analysis and risk assessments can enable healthcare organizations to prioritize their cybersecurity needs and then develop a plan to address the most critical vulnerabilities first. A detailed gap analysis provides a level of feedback that will determine the path for your organization’s future cybersecurity strategy.

When it comes to maturity assessments specifically, those can provide benchmarks for how your organization’s current cybersecurity measures compare to best practices. Your organization can then use the identified gaps when proceeding forward with implementation of cybersecurity measures.

 “A lot of the times organizations need to be honest with themselves as far as where their strengths and weaknesses are,” Nick said. “That’s where a lot of our managed detect and response partners [and] managed service partners come into play to offload some of what these organizations may not have.”

Because patient data will remain with them throughout their lives, securing that data is critical for delivering effective care. Nick added that healthcare organizations will need to ensure compliance with a HIPPA cybersecurity checklist – and that organizations may want to engage with a gap analysis specific to those requirements. 

Use Basic Security Controls to Protect Data at End Points

When it comes to implementing cybersecurity measures for frequently used touchpoints such as email, CDW’s experts emphasize that it’s all about going back to basics. Adopt a Zero-Trust strategy that requires user authentication from multiple touchpoints. This is critical for shoring up digital communication channels and portals that organizations frequently use.

As the name implies, rolling out Zero-Trust measures involves ensuring each digital end point can only be accessed through multiple layers of security. This can be achieved by onboarding authentication tools, such as multi-factor authentication or Single Sign On programs, that require end users to engage with multiple touchpoints before accessing their email or other online tools.

Nick explains that multi-factor authentication is an especially powerful tool for protecting sensitive data at end points and adding another layer between the data and potential threats. He added that implementing multi-factor authentication is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to elevate your organization’s cybersecurity posture. 

When it comes to healthcare organizations specifically, CDW’s experts again emphasized that having these basic controls in place is key for elevating your organization’s security posture and taking the necessary steps to protect the important patient information tied to providing care.

Consider CDW Cybersecurity Solutions to Protect Your Healthcare Organization’s Data

No matter where your healthcare organization may be on your cybersecurity journey, CDW’s cybersecurity specialists are here to help.

Leveraging our security assessments, incident response training, or other services can ensure your healthcare organization is protected against patient data breaches. Taking advantage of CDW’s knowledge of cybersecurity requirements in the healthcare space can also ensure your organization remains HIPPA-compliant and ahead of the curve with your industry’s specific security needs.

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