Healthcare cybersecurity is at significant risk despite extensive awareness. One reason for this is the widespread cybersecurity loopholes the sector is facing. Also, there are loads of misconceptions bringing the challenge of keeping pace.
Recently the sector has faced several threats, from data extortion to exfiltration. These unexpected situations are occurring in most ransomware attacks. New healthcare data vulnerabilities and legacy security gaps are also responsible. Yet, healthcare administrators have failed to address or overlooked these areas.
The fact that the sector is struggling to keep pace is to blame for some cases of breaches. Some people think inadequate security is responsible for these threats. But that is never the universal case. The truth is; the healthcare sector cannot simply match the demanding security pace. Here are some details derailing the sectors’ efforts to develop efficient security plans.
The Healthcare Cybersecurity Struggles
Several experts and scientists have been raising concerns about healthcare cybersecurity fears. And Mitch Parker, an Indiana executive director of information services, shared some insight. Mitch is advocating for critical solutions in the overall healthcare sector’s environment. These include areas like organizational integration, supply chain, and physical security.
Often, these operational areas work within the exact physical locations. Mitch Parker recommends teamwork as the best solution to address any security shortcomings. The job of securing the environment calls for cooperation and coordination of efforts. Doing will ensure the ultimate protection of existing assets and defensive measures. It also enables the development of strategies critical in installing more secure products.
Mitch Parker adds that the journey to a secure healthcare system is never a one-time job. He maintains it is never enough to tackle one element like API or a security application and call it over. Instead, providers should assess customer needs and address them systematically.
Kayne McGladrey, a senior member at IEEE, also had his opinion to share. He explained that healthcare cybersecurity is at risk from all corners. That is why he recommends plans to handle both short-term and long-term threats. Further, he pointed out some inconsistencies in healthcare cybersecurity areas. Some of them include tabletop exercises, structural walkthroughs, and incident response methods.
Another area McGladrey emphasizes is the necessity to have a good long-term plan. Administrators should not do everything at once. But should enroll all their plans through practice and in phases to reduce confusion. For instance, team members without a practiced plan will panic when systems shut down.
Yet, the team is likely to respond stress-free during an attack when there are elaborate plans. That is why providers should test their software systems before usage. They should also look into threatening situations and incident logs to improve preparedness. McGladrey also speaks on vulnerability management. A perfect case example of a healthcare cybersecurity blind spot
Priorities in Tackling Healthcare Cybersecurity Challenges
The diverse nature of healthcare threats demands immediate action. Otherwise, the providers are at risk of joining the growing list of breach victims. Parker advises providers to check asset inventory, the list of their vendors, and internal threat handlers.
Moreover, they should assess their third-party level of security. This includes asking the vendors about the security plans for their products and how they protect and update integrity.
Another critical step Parker recommends is performing a risk assessment. Entities that have not done so can use the System Readiness Assessment tool. While at it, they should develop a gap analysis and solve any loophole.
McGladrey opines the providers should major in risk and harm reductions. The primary place to begin is ensuring no system is using Windows 7 operating system. Unsupported tech is a threat to healthcare cybersecurity. So, every provider should use automated and supported technology to improve security.
The healthcare sector has a lot to do in securing itself against cybersecurity threats. It should check on their inventory, use modern technology, and do a risk assessment. To solve all these problems, organizations should use any possible methods for security. That is because the options of possible solutions are endless.