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Why Managed Security Services Are Important in Healthcare

Learn how managed security services can help healthcare organizations better protect their environment, secure sensitive information and improve security maturity.

The 2013 Target data breach, one of the largest in U.S. history, was a wakeup call to the payment card industry (PCI). After more than 40 million credit and debit records were stolen, the PCI was forced to integrate some of the most stringent controls for data transmission available.

Despite already having some security standards in place under HIPAA, healthcare organizations can still learn valuable lessons from the Target data breach and subsequent PCI compliance standards. To better protect patients, healthcare data and security vulnerabilities, the healthcare industry should treat Protected Health Information (PHI) with the same standards of security that the PCI uses to protect sensitive financial data.

Additional Security in Healthcare Is Necessary

The rapid adoption of advanced and evolving technology has enabled healthcare organizations to do more with fewer resources. However, with more data being transmitted than ever, opportunities for cyber risks become even greater. Due to the nature of this sensitive data and this expanding attack surface, effective cybersecurity should be a top priority for all healthcare organizations.

For example, in the search for new ways to gather actionable insights to optimize operations and enhance care, the continuity of care model has emerged as an effective way for healthcare organizations to track and report on virtual health data when a patient is admitted to or discharged from a hospital.

The continuity of care model uses remote monitoring telemetry to allow healthcare providers to automatically collect, measure and transmit data through monitoring and analysis. Using sensors, communication systems and monitoring tools to gather and interpret data from remote sources, telemetry provides a central location for that data to reside, allowing for easier decision-making, performance optimization and resource management.

This increase in capabilities comes with an increase in endpoints, data and potential risks. So, how can healthcare organizations best protect their patients’ data while also taking advantage of advancements in data analytics and technology?

Strengthen Your Healthcare Security with Managed Security Services

Healthcare organizations are woefully unprepared to address the increasing cyber risks across the entire industry.

As the risk surface expands, the potential for more breaches also increases. And, compared to other industries, the number of employees dedicated to healthcare security is critically low. Without the budget to hire additional staff in security, healthcare organizations are forced to stretch their already thin IT teams even further.  For this reason, healthcare organizations have begun turning to managed security services providers (MSSPs) to better protect their environments and secure sensitive information.

Managed security services can be used in several ways to help protect your digital assets and build a resilient IT environment:

  1. Full replacement. A third-party managed security services provider replaces your current healthcare IT environment, managing it 24/7.
  2. Augmentation. A managed service provider fills in the gaps of your current healthcare IT environment, becoming an extension of your IT staff.
  3. Managed detection and response (MDR). Combining technology with human expertise, MDR solutions rapidly identify and limit the impact of threats by hunting, monitoring and responding to threats, thereby increasing the efficiency of your security operations. MDR solutions can limit the impact of threats without the need for additional costly staffing.

How Managed Security Services Can Help

Like the payment card industry, healthcare organizations must provide a secure infrastructure to ensure that patient data is collected, processed, stored and transmitted securely. However, healthcare IT must also be able to look at healthcare security with quality of care, protected health information, governance, continuity of care and the clinical care model in mind.

A good managed security services provider with deep expertise in the healthcare industry can identify common threats and vulnerabilities to help protect critical data and systems, freeing up your internal teams to focus on other priorities.

MSSPs can work with your healthcare organization to bring your organization to the next level of security maturity.

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Matt Sickles

CDW Expert
Matt Sickles is an executive healthcare strategist at CDW Healthcare and has more than 30 years of experience in leading-edge information security- and technology-related fields.

Mike Gregory

CDW Healthcare Chief Information Security Officer
Mike is CDW Healthcare’s chief information security officer. He has over 36 years of experience securing organizations and helps effectively drive healthcare initiatives in data protection, compliance, risk management, regulatory auditing, and maturing privacy and security programs.