What’s more sensitive and private than your personal medical information? As healthcare providers utilize more digital services, mobile applications, and telehealth programs to communicate, store, and analyze patient data, security continues to be a top priority. Malicious actors notice this uptick in confidential healthcare information online; the number of healthcare cybersecurity attacks increased by 19% in 2021, causing the average mid-size hospital $47,500 per hour of a shutdown.
Hospitals are a clear target for cybercriminals and experience 30% of all cybersecurity attacks. In 2021 alone, nearly 50 million Americans had their healthcare data exposed, a 300% increase from previous years. To stay protected, healthcare providers need to establish comprehensive security protocols, stay proactive in mitigating risks, and continually reassess their healthcare cybersecurity architecture. We’ve put together the ultimate checklist to ensure your healthcare cybersecurity is up to par.
Healthcare Cybersecurity Checklist
1. Complete Healthcare Cybersecurity Assessments
As threats continue to evolve, healthcare organizations need to conduct regular security assessments to see if their infrastructure has any new risks or vulnerabilities. A cybersecurity strategy should not be a single mention in your overall IT strategy. To ensure your organization is protected, you need to create a holistic strategy and ensure there are no vulnerabilities present. If you don’t know where to start, enlist the help of cybersecurity experts that can help advise you on how to strengthen your security posture.
2. Develop an Incident Response Plan
Despite best efforts, it’s likely an attack or breach will eventually occur. A documented, detailed incident response plan can help organizations respond and recover quickly from a healthcare cybersecurity incident. They are designed to minimize damages and exposure from cyberattacks, but simply having an incident response plan isn’t enough. You need to regularly put it to the test and validate your systems, processes, and team are ready in the event of an attack.
3. Create a Secure Network
Protect your patient data and information with a properly configured managed network and leverage network segmentation for even greater security and performance. With encrypted traffic, your risk of cyberattacks is significantly less. By implementing a secure network, you will not only protect your sensitive data, but you can increase productivity too.
4. Ensure VoIP Phones Are Encrypted
Healthcare organizations can’t operate without phone solutions, but they need to be secure. As more healthcare providers opt for VoIP phone solutions over legacy phone technology, organizations need to ensure the technology is not only HIPAA-compliant but also built with end-to-end encryption. Keep your discussions, meetings, and data secure with phone solutions that feature enterprise-grade security.
5. Use Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)
While having a strong password protocol is important, enabling MFA is critical. MFA should be used as an additional security layer for authentication and includes benefits such as assessing user identities, complying with Single Sign-On solutions, and more.
6. Train Your Staff
About 88% of all data breaches are caused by human error, and employee security awareness training is the first line of defense and can boost your healthcare cybersecurity. Enabling continuous employee training helps team members stay informed, remain alert, resist phishing or malware scams, and reduce liabilities.
7. Enable Auto-Lock for Devices
Healthcare providers should enable auto-lock on all company-owned devices to ensure that data remains private and secure. Once a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional is done accessing information on a computer, the system should be locked to ensure no unauthorized use or access to sensitive data. Auto-lock is particularly helpful when it comes to securing computer systems in common areas, where patients, family members, or visitors could view information that shouldn’t be accessible.
8. Purchase Healthcare Cybersecurity Insurance
As ransomware continues to become an issue within the healthcare sector, many healthcare organizations are opting for cyber insurance. Having a separate cyber insurance policy can help mitigate the effects of a cyberattack, but to be qualified for this type of insurance, organizations need to have healthcare cybersecurity measures in place. If you don’t know where to start when it comes to obtaining cyber insurance, check out TPx’s eBook, Guide for Finance and IT Teams Obtaining Cyber Liability Insurance.
9. Partner With a HIPAA Compliant MSP
Outsourcing IT to a HIPAA-compliant trusted provider can help ensure you are compliant while providing healthcare cybersecurity solutions that can strengthen your security posture. By working with a proven IT provider in the healthcare industry, your organization can rest easy knowing your infrastructure and security is being maintained properly.
Must-Have Healthcare Cybersecurity
Technology requirements for healthcare providers require a specialized partner that understands the unique regulatory landscape. To learn more about how TPx works for healthcare, contact us today.