Now more than ever, hackers have multiple avenues of attacking
your organization’s PII data. This is the first part of a series we will be
doing to cover defending yourself from the multiple attack vectors predators
are taking to access your patient data and potentially wreck havoc on your
patients lives or your brand’s reputation.
Today’s topic is around some of the most exploited attack
vectors: the PII-data handlers and the software that run your organization.
Vigorous practice needs to be implemented to address the below:
CONDUCT A RISK ANALYSIS:
It’s important to regularly conduct a risk analysis to identify
potential security vulnerabilities and risks to sensitive healthcare
information. The analysis should assess the security of electronic health
records (EHRs), systems, and networks. Penetration testing scenarios
are a critical part of this analysis process alongside other realistic testing
scenarios Perfect Path Informatics conducts alongside our customers regularly.
DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT SECURITY POLICIES:
Hospitals should have comprehensive security policies and procedures in place to protect sensitive information, such as policies around access controls, password management, and data encryption. Input from all areas of the business is critical for this data to be actionable. Policies should be reviewed regularly and updated as
necessary. Multiple software vendors should be engaged to provide feedback on what is and isn’t achievable by their product(s) so that the right tooling is available for the determined policies.
PROVIDE REGULAR TRAINING AND EDUCATION:
Regular training and education for employees and staff can help them understand their
responsibilities for protecting sensitive information and recognize potential
security threats. This should include training on HIPAA regulations, phishing
scams, and other cybersecurity threats. An ideal cadence for delivery of this
training is quarterly in order to cultivate the necessary employee culture
shift of cybersecurity mindfulness within an organization.
IMPLEMENT APPROPRIATE TECHNICAL SAFEGUARDS:
Hospitals should implement appropriate technical safeguards, such as firewalls, intrusion
detection and prevention systems, and endpoint protection. Regular software
updates and patches should also be applied to address known vulnerabilities.
DEVELOP AN INCIDENT RESPONSE PLAN:
A comprehensive incident response plan should be in place in case of a data breach. This should include
procedures for reporting, investigating, and containing breaches, as well as
communication plans to inform affected individuals and regulatory agencies.
By implementing these steps, hospitals can better protect sensitive healthcare
information and reduce the risk of a data leak or breach.