CompassMSP Blog

The Critical Role that Cybersecurity Plays in Healthcare

Posted by Paul Breitenbach on May 15, 2019
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cybersecurity in healthcare

The healthcare industry is a prime target for cybercriminals due to the extensive amount of data exchanged each day. The vast majority of hospital administrators understand that cybersecurity is a top priority but do not feel adequately prepared to handle these cyber threats. However, choosing to partner with a managed IT service provider will give your healthcare organization the ultimate protection against a vast number of cyber attacks. An IT service provider is also available at any time to offer help desk support and provide training on a wide range of cybersecurity topics.

Here are a few reasons why cybersecurity is critical in the healthcare industry.

1) Security of Electronic Health Records

Electronic health records are a gold mine for cybercriminals, as this information is highly valuable on the dark web. Data breaches significantly damage the reputation of any healthcare organization and lead to costly HIPAA violations. However, a managed IT service provider can help protect your electronic health records by implementing multiple layers of security. Around the clock network monitoring, data encryption, VPNs, and data loss prevention solutions are just a few ways that a managed IT service company keeps your electronic records protected and out of the hands of cybercriminals.

2) Replacement and Updating of Legacy Hardware and Software

Many medical devices use operating systems that were built over 20 years ago, and they were not designed to be compatible with newer technology. However, outdated technology is vulnerable to cyber attacks and is also susceptible to HIPAA violations. The HITECH Act requires all software and hardware to be maintained by the manufacturer to remain in compliance. HIPAA also requires healthcare organizations to implement security systems to detect and protect against malware. The EOL for Windows 7 is January 14, 2020, but partnering with a managed service provider can help you replace legacy systems with new technology that is more secure and also ensure that your healthcare organization remains in compliance with HIPAA.

3) Education and Protection from Cyber Threats

One of the most effective ways to protect a healthcare company is to educate employees on the vast number of cyber threats. Malware attacks and phishing campaigns are two of the most popular style of attacks that target healthcare organizations. Many cybercriminals target hospital employees by sending out emails that contain malware. An unsuspecting employee may click on a malicious link within an email and infect the entire network with ransomware. Educating employees on the best way to avoid ransomware attacks is essential in the healthcare industry. Phishing scams are also widely popular, as they focus on tricking employees into providing confidential information. Scheduling educational seminars with an IT service provider is an excellent way to educate employees on the best ways to avoid cyber threats in the workplace.

4) Creating an Incident Response Plan

Developing an incident response plan is essential for any healthcare organization. An incident response plan is designed to limit the damage of a cyber attack and minimize the recovery time. An IT service provider can help your organization create incident response plans for a wide range of cyber attacks and train employees on the best way to handle each situation. A managed service provider will also study any particular vulnerabilities within your system and focus on security patches to minimize the chance of a successful cyber attack. An incident response plan is also updated on a frequent basis, as new cyber threats continue to emerge all of the time.

 

Cybersecurity plays a critical role in keeping confidential data protected in the healthcare industry. CompassMSP is an IT service provider with extensive experience in protecting healthcare organizations from a wide range of cyber threats. Cybercrime will only continue to expand in today's digital environment, but the use of a managed service provider gives your healthcare company the ultimate protection against these ever-evolving cyber threats.

Contact us today to learn more about the importance of cybersecurity in the healthcare industry.

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