In 2022 every business should worry about cybersecurity. However, healthcare is the most significant vector for hackers. That is because clinics and hospitals contain lots of sensitive information, which will cost millions in case of data breaches.
A healthcare company should know that protecting its business from attacks should always remain the top focus. This is especially vital in the world of digitalization and the increased use of mobile phones. According to Statista, the average financial loss suffered caused by a healthcare data breach was 4.24 million U.S. dollars in 2021. Below you will explore the best ways to improve hospital security through technologies and practices.
Hire Security Teams
One of the easiest ways to boost hospital cybersecurity is by hiring security specialists. If your business has applications for users, websites for doctors or any other software that supports your clinics, having a security team in place will significantly improve your cybersecurity.
These specialists will be able to identify minor chances or strange user behavior before an attack happens, preventing hackers from gaining access to your sensitive data. This way, you will also boost users’ loyalty and increase retention rates.
Cybersecurity Training for Staff
Practice shows that the biggest vulnerability is a human factor. We all have phones, and doctors are also people, so they can accidentally share sensitive data or click on a dangerous link, which may lead to millions of dollars wasted on getting back on track.
That is why experts always recommend training all employees about cybersecurity red flags so they can notice when something goes wrong and avoid opening malware files. Training your staff helps you not only protect your business and users but also makes it easier to avoid cyberattacks in real life for them.
A penetration test (also known as a pen test) refers to an authorized simulated attack that is performed by cyber specialists to evaluate its security. The key thing in this type of testing is that specialists mimic real attacks using the same tools, techniques, and processes as hackers to find and demonstrate to the company their vulnerabilities and weaknesses in a system.
Penetration testing can simulate a vast range of attacks that could put the business at risk. This way, they can examine whether the security posture is strong and efficient enough to withstand hackers from authenticated and unauthenticated positions.
Protect Mobile Gadgets
Smartphones, laptops, tablets and other gadgets are the biggest targets for attackers. Since 2019, the use of mobile phones has significantly increased and made it hard for businesses to protect their sensitive data. In addition, attackers found lots of vulnerabilities in mobile phones, so they like to get access to business data through phones and simple clicks on dangerous files.
While training your staff about cybersecurity is a great way to boost security posture, you still need to protect mobile phones as devices. However, the best way to improve healthcare cybersecurity in your mobile phones is to keep all sensitive health data away from any devices and don’t store all data in one place. If storing the data in your phone is essential for you, make sure all information is encrypted.
Keep Software and Operating Systems Updated
One of the favorite things for hackers is outdated software. Since this software and opening systems can’t use the latest technologies and tools for protection, they usually represent an easy target. While IT companies know the importance of updating all systems regularly, healthcare companies lack an understanding of what it may cost them to forget about updates.
If losing millions on getting back on track after data breaches isn’t enough valuable reason for updates, hackers can use your outdated systems to damage medical equipment. While it will stop the entire medical process (Including surgeries), you may also not be able to fix the damage caused by attackers.
For instance, your MRI machine can be easily compromised with a virus that can result in delayed or wrong diagnoses. And if the affected device is connected to the network, hackers may use it as a gateway into the entire system.
Plan for an Inevitable Breach
Since hacker attacks are becoming more sophisticated and complex, the ideal strategy is to prepare for the inevitability of a breach while also constantly improving the security of your systems. The thing is that you can’t be 100% sure that you won’t be attacked and won’t lose data. Around 45 percent of healthcare companies reported that they had faced a phishing attack in the previous twelve months in In 2021. So aside from preparing money for hackers, we also recommend having a security team in place who will be able to either identify the attack or return control over data back to you.
Comprehensive mitigation, as well as a strong recovery plan, should also be in place. They both must outline how your company and every employee will attempt recovery of the data lost. These plans should be as detailed as possible with roles so every team member knows how to react in case of an attack, reducing the effect of a successful attack and helping you to quickly recover.
Periodic Staff Training
All employees working in your healthcare organizations would know about cybersecurity. Not only the security team should know what to do in case of an attack. In addition, the personal protection of every employee will help you reduce the risk of attack.
The best way to show your employees what vulnerabilities they have is to use penetration testing that uses the same methods as hackers do. In addition, some companies send phishing emails to their staff to check how well they identify malicious files and links.