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Why Security Awareness in Healthcare is Critical

Posted by Integrity Staff on August 13, 2018 at 10:00 AM

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Security Awareness training and programming is important for every industry. Security Awareness in healthcare is especially critical. The healthcare industry is responsible for the safekeeping of highly sensitive medical data. HIPAA tries to ensure that security is tight and materials are handled correctly, but that only goes so far. Any breach of a medical organization's network or data can be highly damaging to the practice in question. HIPAA violations come at a steep cost and a lost reputation is something that may never be recovered. Every organization in the healthcare industry needs Security Awareness training. This is why:

 

Social Engineering Attacks

A Social Engineering attack is any kind of cyber crime attempt that relies on deceiving your team. It can come in the form of Phishing, where one of your employees receives an e-mail from someone posing as an authority figure. In the fraudulent e-mail, the cyber criminal will ask for sensitive data or access to your network. All too often, the unsuspecting and trusting employee complies with whatever the request was without a second thought. It can also come in the form of typosquatting, threatening ransomware-type scams, and more. All of these crimes prey on people's trusting nature. Security Awareness training helps build the skepticism and vigilance that thwarts these types of attacks. With the proper training, your team will be better prepared to spot scams and they'll be more guarded when it comes to sensitive data. 

 

No Best Practices

Is your team careless on the internet? Are you storing sensitive information securely? Do you have standards that are effectively communicated? If you don't have best practices firmly established, it's difficult to blame anyone for mistakes made. Unfortunately, without best practices and a sound data security strategy, mistakes are almost certainly going to be made. Whether it's an errant download or a bad link that's clicked on, an absence of best practices can result in errors that make your network - and your sensitive medical data - vulnerable. Security Awareness training can help establish and communicate best practices for data storage, internet browsing, and more. More than that, a Security Awareness program can train and test your team on what's been taught. 

 

Risky Culture 

What's the culture in your organization? Because you're in healthcare, chances are that 'caution' is one of the words that comes to mind. Medicine is all about caution, deliberation, and adherence to strict standards. Are those same cultural hallmarks applied to your data security strategy? Each person in your organization should have data security top of mind. That's important for staying HIPAA compliant, but it's also important for keeping your practice safe. A culture that emphasizes security can keep your organization safe from the aforementioned threats of social engineering attacks and careless internet use. Implementing Security Awareness training should be the start of building a security-first culture. 

 

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