The healthcare sector repeatedly battles a high number of data breaches and other cybersecurity issues. According to the 2019 Ponemon Institute-IBM Security report, healthcare corporations pay an estimate of $6.5 million per breach, which accounts for more than 65 percent of the mitigation costs in other industries.

See related article on “Costs of Data Breaches and How Threat Modeling can save you millions of dollars”

Health records seem to be the most popular data stolen by hackers. This is due to the high value medical data holds. According to the 2019 Mid-Year Data Breach Barometer Report from Protenus and, more health data was breached in the first half of 2019 than in all of 2018. The issue doesn’t end there. Losing crucial patient records hampers the ability to give assistance when there is no time to spare.

The fact that healthcare data is frequently circulated among various groups and corporations, some of which may have inadequate security systems, doesn’t help. Cyberattacks continue to gain momentum and the impact is worse every year.  Healthcare cybersecurity practices must be of major concern in 2020. However, the question remains: What can health providers do to win the cybersecurity battle? Here are 5 top tips to maintain healthcare security.

Top 5 tips for Cybersecurity in Health Care

1. Create a Cybersecurity Culture Within the Organization

Educating people on cybersecurity should be every organization’s job. This applies to every industry, not only the healthcare sector. The challenge comes down to increasing people’s attentiveness about the potential threats that can expose the information they work with daily.

Statistically, organizations do not spend on cybersecurity resources as much as they should. Of the respondents surveyed by Tripwire,  just 11% believe their organization keeps track of all network hardware devices. A third of respondents stated that their organization doesn’t require default passwords to be changed. A staggering 43% have no password requirements for each system. Nearly two-thirds of the participants admit to not using hardening benchmarks, like CIS or Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) guidelines.

People, processes and technology that, taken together, make an organization more cybersecure. Each organization has its own internal security measures such as denial of access to private information, reduce exposure of unlawful data, etc. However, if an organization has not implemented a security-minded organizational culture (with training) that requires people to be aware of these policies and the aftermath of failing to protect sensitive information, it is to their detriment.

One of the most difficult facets of teaching a security concentration among users is defeating the point of view that “it won’t happen to me.” Any organization that relies on the processing of private, sensitive, confidential data should establish a culture of security. Every person in the organization must contribute to a common concept of information security, with procedures automated making less room for error.

2. Give Security Experts a Chance

With security hazards on the rise, it is more imperative than ever for medical providers to hire the right security experts. These specialists are important for explaining the seriousness of cybersecurity dangers to management and allocating resources to education, purchasing cybersecurity solutions, and employing security engineers. This practice will allow security professionals to protect a whole line of networks, infrastructure and applications from potential attacks.

3. Control Access to Shielded Health Data

Whether it is in the healthcare industry or any other sector, one of the most common ways hackers use to access private information is through passwords. To reduce the danger to health information hacking, a strong password is encouraged. However, passwords are not the only issue, the user’s credentials can be accessed if not protected appropriately. Both username and password are used as part of an access control structure in which users gain some rights to access the data within.

For many circumstances, regulating file access authorizations may be executed physically, using an access control list. This is usually done by someone with legal rights to the system. Before assigning access consent, it is crucial to distinguish which files should be available to which staff members. Further access controls that may be constructed consist of role-based access control, in which a staff member’s role within the practice decides what data may be retrieved.

4. Make Use of Evolving Technology

At the end of the day, medical providers must utilize automated technology which repeatedly diminishes attacks, hence lowering the risk of human error. New and evolving technology allows healthcare providers to detect and prevent potential breaches, such as with cybersecurity threat detection solutions. Yet, it is crucial that medical CISOs condense the best solutions. In the end, it doesn’t make sense to allocate sizable budgets to safeguard hospitals’ online systems, if the security of their infrastructure is left unprotected.

The remainder of 2020 will be a tricky year for healthcare CISOs. Just like medical providers are becoming more sophisticated technologically, so do the cybercriminals trying to hack application systems. This is the year medical organizations will re-evaluate the potential consequences of a breach and provide their security teams with the assets they require to keep their workforce, and eventually their patients, protected.

5. Find the Right Security Solution

When talking business, it is important to keep in mind the consequences of not making a backup plan. A trustworthy backup is one that can be relied on in a crisis, so it is essential not only that all the data be properly secured, but that it can promptly and correctly be corrected and reestablished. Finding the right security solution contributes to your backup plan. Your organization will not only be saving millions of dollars on a potential data breach, but time and effort.

According to the HIPAA Regulatory Alert, threat modeling is the best method to envision an attack surface and comprehend where threats might concede security susceptibilities. Threat modeling allows health care organizations to take their restricted IT and security budgets and use them to the ultimate outcome by selecting the areas of highest exposure.

Learn more about Healthcare Cybersecurity predictions for 2020

Why Healthcare Businesses Need ThreatModeler

One thing is for sure, no healthcare business, whatever its size, can afford to undergo a security breach. Therefore, a thorough cybersecurity evaluation is vital. ThreatModeler is overlaying the route for medical device factories and healthcare providers to construct reliable IT infrastructure. The ThreatModeler tool has templates for Pacemaker, Pacemaker device and X-Ray Machine.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises that healthcare businesses threat model their systems to enhance their safety. To learn more about how ThreatModeler can help you to identify, prioritize and mitigate threats, book a demo to speak to a ThreatModeler expert today.



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