We’ve conducted our end of year physical on the healthcare industry, and while the humans that are cared for have a variety of health issues, there is one that is plaguing the healthcare industry as a whole: cybersecurity.
This was not a good year for hospitals and healthcare businesses when it came to staying safe and avoiding breaches. Outdated hardware and software made an easy target for hackers who were looking for a quick win. Add to it, that patient care was dependent on immediate and ongoing access to electronic records, and it is the perfect mix for not only hitting an easy mark but also getting a quick response for ransom to be paid out of necessity and urgency.
HIPAA compliance regulations are also on the list of items to be tackled. With many in the process of finding their way to become compliant and then maintain it with a solid HIPAA program. This required part of the business equation is more often going hand in hand with a strong cybersecurity plan since a failure in one will often uncover a failure or weakness in the other.
We Need a Plan
In order for a business to ensure longevity and overall health, it must have a structure in place that addresses these risks to its survival, both internal and external. Many make the incorrect assumption that if they have met the laws and regulations of HIPAA, that they are safe from hackers or a breach. This could not be more untrue.
Humans provide the greatest danger to a business with their lack of understanding of the dangers and threats that they encounter on a daily basis from cybercriminals. Ongoing training and education assigning individuals to oversee these programs, and resources that are in place should a breach occur, are critical to any business, but especially those in healthcare as they are an easy target.
It’s important to stay informed to understand the difference between HIPAA expectations and cybersecurity threats and best practices. Make sure your organization has dedicated individuals or teams who are addressing both HIPAA and cybersecurity so that if, and when a breach occurs, the response is swift, efficient and done in the best manner possible.
Business survival is a joint effort with specialists from a variety of fields coming together to provide total health.