The recent breaches of healthcare IT systems and FBI warnings on the vulnerabilities of healthcare organizations have made IT security to be taken very seriously by the executives in the industry.
However, their actions regarding implementing safeguards speak louder than the crisis meeting held on a regular basis. It takes calculated planning, technical expertise, and business knowledge to secure any healthcare organization.
This is the only way in which security experts can have a balance between their vision for secure devices and software and the easy, accessible, data and tools demanded by medical users.
Healthcare organizations are very susceptible to cyber-attacks. They house critical data which include personal health information, payment information, and intellectual property.
However, most employees in these organizations only want to focus on their work and most perceive technology as a hindrance to their daily activities. But, there are some few things which can be done to improve healthcare IT security.
Here are tips on how to strengthen health care security.
Hire a CSO
Every healthcare organization must hire an experienced C-level executive to oversee the physical and IT security. Adding security responsibilities, especially IT to another executive cannot work. IT security is too complex and integral to be taken so lightly.
Healthcare experience, which is very valuable shouldn’t be the main priority. CSOs with IT security experience will very easily deal with security issues in the entire organization and improve the organization’s workflow and efficiency.
IT experts advise smaller healthcare organizations which lack the resources or infrastructure to hire a CSO to consider outsourcing IT security from service providers which specialize in IT security.
Alternatively, the organizations can hire a temporary CSO. The CSOs can help the healthcare organizations to develop guidelines and roadmaps for them to comply with healthcare security standards.
Take a corporate audit
Healthcare organizations must take stock of everything they own and use before they even plan on the security measures to take. Most of the data in these organizations are spread across numerous devices.
This makes work easier, but on the other hand, it risks the data. Most if these devices are bought without the consultation of IT experts, so, it is important for them to review their risks and come up with the necessary protections.
Robots, Internet of Things, apps and wearable devices have significantly improved the quality of healthcare services, but they generate privacy worries on the other hand.
Gartner has revealed increased adoption of IoT in the healthcare industry and predicts that the IoT will be a part of the healthcare industry by 2020 – but this will only increase cyber threats.
So, healthcare organizations should audit the devices with internet connectivity they own for them to keep cyber criminals at bay.
Build a culture
Healthcare facilities cannot successfully implement IT security policies on their own. They must instill that culture to every employee and department. Everyone must be able to play a part in protecting the entire organization from cyber-attacks. Basically, IT security should be a part of everyone’s discussions.
At the same time, security professionals should understand that healthcare professionals consider every extra step as wastage of valuable time. So, the most successful strategies and products are those who will easily integrate with the workflows while securing the data at the same time.