The healthcare industry isn’t like any other industry when it comes to cyber security. The sensitive nature of the information that is handled on a daily basis by professionals in the healthcare world creates an interesting challenge for IT professionals.
The Healthcare Industry Was Highly Targeted in 2016
Hackers took advantage of the fact that healthcare records weren’t as protected as they should have been in 2016. The startling reality is that the number of healthcare data breaches nearly doubled in 2016. Among the victims were a number of high-profile healthcare companies and insurance providers. The biggest healthcare breach to make news in recent years was the one that occurred at Anthem.
This one breach alone caused 78.8 million consumer records to be exposed. The recent list of just a few healthcare companies to fall victim to hackers also includes Banner Health, Sentara Healthcare, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware. Everything from small medical offices and clinics to national hospitals and insurance providers are at risk because hackers are targeting personal information in record numbers.
In fact, smaller providers are often at greater risk because they have fewer security measures in place. This flaw makes them extremely attractive to hackers looking for low-hanging fruit.
Has Your Security Profile Been Assessed for 2017?
The stakes are far too high to simply keep your organization’s security the same as it’s been for years. There’s a good chance that current healthcare providers have a few flaws in their defenses that can easily be exploited by malicious software or hackers. It’s important not to get caught up in a false sense of security just because things have been fine up until now.
Sophisticated programs are being developed every day allowing hackers to disguise something like a phishing email sent to an employee to steal sensitive information like patient data. It’s not too late to make 2017 the safest year yet. Bringing in a cyber security company to conduct a comprehensive security assessment is the first step to knowing exactly how vulnerable an organization may be. The process of testing and optimizing a security plan includes:
- Identifying points for data leaks
- Assessing security and attack vectors
- Attempting controlled attacks through penetration testing
- Addressing weak points for social engineering, phishing schemes, and in-person hacking campaigns
- Addressing physical security weak points that could allow breaches
Security at Every Step
Ignoring one area is the same as ignoring everything when it comes to the security of your enterprise. Therefore a good security firm addresses everything from holes in current network infrastructure to risky employee behaviors when it comes to keeping valuable data protected.
A security assessment that isn’t comprehensive simply can’t help healthcare providers stay in compliance with HIPAA regulations and other laws. There is far too much at stake for the healthcare industry to take chances when it comes to cyber security.
Having the current security posture evaluated is the first step to making sure a healthcare provider doesn’t end up in the headlines as the victim of the next security breach of 2017.