enterprisesecuritymag

Augmenting Cybersecurity in Healthcare Industry

By Robert Napoli, CIO, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands

Robert Napoli, CIO, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian IslandsRobert Napoli, CIO, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands

The levels of cybersecurity threats have significantly increased over the past decade posing significant challenges in the healthcare organizations. In order to tackle these security issues, most organizations invest a lot of time and money to hire dedicated cybersecurity professionals or CISOs to strengthen their security posture. The magnitude of a security breach is often intensified if the records are stolen from a medical system or a healthcare database. Given that patient information is highly confidential data, it is imperative to secure and safeguard this data round the clock to avoid any misuse of medical information. Most of the security breaches are a result of risks and hacks from external forces originating in the digital realm. However, in hindsight, internal risks in the form of a user accessing data with a nefarious motive can also lead to the misuse of data, making internal risks more threatening than external.

Strategic Initiatives Taken to Counter Security Threats

The first and foremost initiative to approach cybersecurity is to focus on end users by providing them with the right education and training required to comprehend the risks in cybersecurity. We offer exclusive training programs to educate the users for utilizing secured data with minimal risks. In addition to this, various awareness training modules are used for educational purposes to provide a clear picture of cybersecurity-related issues. Furthermore, organizations can counter the threats with a strategic initiative in the form of an advanced endpoint threat protection that blocks any virus from passing through the company network. These efforts can be further strengthened by restricting the utilization of external devices inside the organization to ensure users do not infuse any malicious virus into the systems.

Identifying the Right Solution Provider

The abundance of cyber security products has made it a daunting task for organizations to choose the right solution provider in the market. In order to overcome this plight, employing advisory services simplifies the task by providing an overall review of the leading products. Having the right peers also works as a boon wherein an extensive network of connections shares and imparts input and rich information about the solution providers that can assist in enhancing the cybersecurity measures within the company.

Evolution in Cybersecurity

Back in the day, CIOs and IT leaders struggled to install cybersecurity systems in their organizations as security was an afterthought. Most organizations opted not to invest in cybersecurity measures unless there was a security breach of their healthcare data. Today, the consequences of high profile breaches in the industry have led organizations to place their winning wagers on superior cybersecurity programs. The rise of technological advancements like big data, analytics, social media and cloud computing have also significantly contributed to the efficient functioning of cybersecurity in the healthcare industry.

Word of Advice for Fellow Executives

Most CIOs understand the significance of a robust cybersecurity program for their organization. For a large company, having a CISO in their workplace is extremely necessary to manage and protect the massive amount of data. On the other hand, for a smaller organization, having a managed service security provider that can offer expert advice and services is crucial to maintaining high-end security in the business. That said, every organization needs a dedicated cybersecurity team that works on two essential components: being technically strong and possessing a deep understanding of the regulatory structure associated with the organization.