What Cybersecurity Safeguards Can We Put In Place For Our Clinical Healthcare Organization?

cybersecurity-safeguards-healthcare

The kind of information and data found within the healthcare industry—including demographic, financial, and protected health information—is very lucrative for cybercriminals. Unfortunately, this means cybersecurity issues are always going to be something healthcare organizations need to contend with.

Being aware of any potential threats is an important part of your IT team's plan for reducing vulnerability against cybercriminals, safeguarding highly sensitive information, and protecting your organization's employees, shareholders, customers, and brand reputation. But with so many options for improving your organization's cybersecurity safeguards—and so many areas that could use a little help—it can be tough to know where to start or how to go from "good" to "great" cybersecurity.

Check out these research-backed security strategies you can employ at your clinical healthcare organization. 

 

4 Ideas for Improving Your Healthcare Organization's Cybersecurity

 

1. Delegate Cybersecurity to Specific Team Members

It's helpful to have a dedicated team of staff members who can identify, prevent, and problem-solve cybersecurity issues within a clinical healthcare organization. This can free up valuable resources among the rest of your IT team while simultaneously improving the quality of action taken to bolster security.

Identifying the members on your team who are truly passionate about cybersecurity also ensures your organization stays up-to-date with the latest innovations and advances in cybersecurity, especially as it pertains to the healthcare industry, which poses its own unique challenges (e.g., the widespread use of IoT devices such as wearable medical technology, which may be vulnerable to hacking). 

 

2. Prioritize and Address as Many Vulnerable Areas as Possible 

Within any clinical healthcare setting, there are many areas that serve as vulnerable spots for security failures. Your designated cybersecurity team can do a wide sweep to identify your organization's most critical areas, then implement the corrective actions or tools that are appropriate for your organization's needs and available resources. Here are some common cybersecurity safeguards tools you may want to consider: 

 

3. Establish a Culture of Data Privacy and Security

Any system is only as good as the humans it relies on to stay operational. This means that clinical facilities must encourage personnel at every level—from the environmental services staff to upper level management—to believe and act as if they have an important role in maintaining the organization's cybersecurity. Because the truth is… they do!

Of course, changing the culture of an organization is a big mission. But when it comes to a culture of cybersecurity specifically, there are several creative things that can be done to ensure everyone on the team is in alignment with security goals:

  • Regularly providing security awareness training and educational opportunities for all staff members, as well as educating shareholders, patients, and vendors about health IT
  • Incentivizing and recognizing compliance with good computer and data habits (e.g., staff recognition, simple rewards)
  • Providing safe avenues for staff members to report suspected security breaches 
  • Communicating the various and very real pain points of data security breaches (for example, the fact that cybersecurity breaches cost the U.S. healthcare system upwards of $5.6 billion every year, and can cost a single hospital up to $7 million due to mitigation, litigation, fines, and reputational damage)
  • Creating and aiming for standards above current policies and regulations regarding data (studies find that many current policies pertain to data privacy and not data security explicitly, although both are certainly important)

 

4. Consult with a Team of Outside Expert

When it comes to your clinical healthcare organization's cybersecurity safeguards, details matter—but that doesn't mean the details have to keep you bogged down. If it's starting to feel like they are, the most efficient and cost-effective choice might be to consult with a team of outside professionals who specialize in cybersecurity solutions. This gives your staff the valuable opportunity to learn from experts, receive individualized guidance, identify blind spots and areas of potential weaknesses, and enhance accountability and compliance.

Contact Integrity Technology Solutions today if you'd like a professional and knowledgeable team to help you streamline your organization's cybersecurity safeguards!

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