Safeguarding Your Healthcare Organization against Cyber Threats

The modern healthcare network today is entangled deeply with technology. Operating any healthcare organization without depending on technology is incredibly challenging, from enterprise systems storing patients’ records to using sophisticated machines for diagnosing diseases. However, like any other industry, technological opportunities come with risks. These risks are categorized under the huge branch of cybersecurity threats. Cybersecurity breaches are on the rise today. Malicious hackers use sophisticated tools, although technological advancements have made it easier for companies to upgrade their security measures. It means that you need to take some proactive measures to reduce cybersecurity risks along with implementing stringent cybersecurity policies.

Cybersecurity in Healthcare

Cybersecurity across the healthcare sector refers to safeguarding electronic data like sensitive patient data, digital infrastructure, and healthcare systems from unauthorized use, access, and disclosure. Cybersecurity calls for implementing cutting-edge measures for preventing, detecting, and responding to cyber threats.

Mitigating Cyber Risks in Healthcare

With the growing dependency of the healthcare industry on technology for their internal processes, there are numerous items that companies need to implement while developing their risk management programs, like healthcare vendor risk management. It is essential when a healthcare organization has third and fourth-party vendors and suppliers.

This is because cybercriminals and hackers often target companies that lack cyber defenses. The industry should raise the bar for proper cybersecurity measures using numerous practices. Let us check out the main methods to help mitigate the cyber risks across healthcare organizations as follows:

Encrypt Your Data and Create Backups

Ensure that all your sensitive data gets encrypted. Saving data in the normal-text format will make things easier for hackers in terms of access. Alternatively, data encryption will limit the data access to different parties with the encryption key. It will help ensure that when unauthorized parties gain access to this data, they cannot read it. A few data encryption software will inform you when other people are trying to tamper or alter the information.

Conduct Regular Employee Training

One of the most common ways malicious hackers gain access to the database is through phishing emails sent to your employees. Statistics show that over 500 million phishing attacks were reported in 2022. These emails contain malicious malware in the links that give the hackers access to the user data, including the login credentials. You should even emphasize the importance of checking out the email addresses before replying and checking out the links before clicking them. Lastly, highlight the company’s policy when sharing sensitive information across social media.

Keep Your Systems and Software Updated

Cybersecurity and digital safety are massively impacted by software and system updates. It is because they add new features, fix bugs, and help patch security errors and risks that can get exploited. The malicious hackers write the codes they use to manipulate the risks. The code is often packaged as malware that affects the whole system. Therefore, ensure a patch management system automatically manages every update while upholding information security.

Use Strong Passwords

Over 80% of company data breaches result from weak passwords. The hackers do not require much to access your systems. They need a bit of a gap to exploit it thoroughly. The technology to crack the password is highly advanced, and easy passwords will no longer be cut. You must use complex passwords while deploying multi-factor authentication strategies to discourage cybercrime within the company. Also, discourage password sharing among employees so that the rest stays secure if a desktop gets hacked.

Assess and Monitor Your Vendors

There is a vast room that your cybersecurity is highly reliant on third-party vendors, and it is the reason why you can always pay attention to the importance of risk management for the healthcare industry. It will assist in mitigating the third-party risks instead of just depending on the incident response.

The following are the areas where your focus should be mainly:

  • Cybersecurity risk: Onboarding the vendors using the appropriate cybersecurity strategies and monitoring them throughout your connection.
  • Legal, regulatory, and compliance risk: Ensure that the vendor is not impacting the compliance with regulations, local legislation, and agreements.
  • Operational risk: Ensure that the vendor is not disrupting your operations if they are the vital feature of your company.
  • Strategic risk: Ensure the vendor is not impacting your ability to meet your company’s objectives.

Ensure that you are managing your third-party exposure sooner and not leaving cybersecurity to any chance.

Put a Killswitch in Place

When you have a proper killswitch, it safeguards you against large-scale threats. It is a reactive cybersecurity protection strategy where the Department of Information Technology will shut down every system as soon as they find anything suspicious until the issues get resolved.

Cybercriminals only cover their tracks when they expect to get caught. Therefore, you can have your IT security teams analyze every server log almost frequently, conducting the cybersecurity framework audits and ensuring their intact integrity. You should invest in network forensic analysis tools to analyze information flow throughout the network.

Install Firewalls

Cyber security threats are becoming more sophisticated, with hackers arriving with new ways of accessing data daily. Therefore, defend the networks from cyber attacks with the installation of firewalls. The reliable system protects you from brute attacks, preventing security incidents leading to irreversible damages.

Additionally, the firewalls monitor the extensive network traffic to identify suspicious activity that compromises data integrity. They prevent the challenging spyware from accessing the system, promoting data privacy.

Create a Secure Cybersecurity Policy

The cybersecurity of your company is highly influenced by the policies that you have in place. Do you have guidelines for the prevention and detection of data breaches? Are the It teams conducting risk assessments or penetration testing? It initiates with the guidelines.

Go through your existing policies and identify any loopholes they may have. Some of the guidelines you should have in place include;

  • Disaster recovery: In case of any breach, a disaster recovery plan will ensure that the IT teams and employees understand the next course of action. It focuses on reducing offline time, ensuring that operations will resume sooner.
  • Access control/management: The policy highlights that the parties accessing the key information reduce the risk of unauthorized access. Mishandling data has legal and financial implications; therefore, the access management policies specify the stakeholders who are allowed access and in which circumstances they will share the data.
  • Security testing: The policy states the frequency of the cybersecurity tests. It enables you to uncover the risks before it turns late. A few of the security tests you should include deal with security posture assessment, scanning vulnerabilities, ethical hacking, cybersecurity assessments, and penetration testing.
  • Incident response plan: this is documentation of the steps and procedures that should be implemented in case of a breach. It also highlights the responsibility of key information security players and reduces your organization’s response time.


Cyberattacks are usually an ongoing risk to performing businesses, with healthcare providers reducing every chance of an attack and making their systems safe. Protecting patient data and ensuring better continuity of essential healthcare services are necessary to prepare for the prevention and preparedness of vital elements of the strategies revolving around cybersecurity.