A Comprehensive Guide
Welcome to 2023, where cybersecurity is not just an IT concern, but a vital aspect of business continuity. For small and medium healthcare organizations (SMBs), the stakes are high when it comes to data breaches and ransomware attacks. The consequences can be devastating, with costs exceeding $250,000 for recovery, investigations, customer notifications, and potential penalties under HIPAA regulations.
But it doesn’t stop there. Increased workloads, patient attrition, and remediation plans can further compound the damage. That’s why proactive measures are crucial, with one of the most effective and affordable solutions being Security Awareness Training (SAT). In this blog, we’ll explore why healthcare SMBs must prioritize security awareness training, debunk common misconceptions, and provide a fresh perspective on the matter.
The Human Element: Your Greatest Strength and Vulnerability
When it comes to cyberattacks, we often imagine a mastermind hacker meticulously planning their every move. But the truth is, healthcare SMBs face a different reality. Security breaches are often the result of wide-scale phishing attacks, where cybercriminals cast a wide net and hope for a bite. They send out hundreds of thousands of deceptive emails, targeting anyone and everyone they can find. These attacks aren’t personal. They’re opportunistic. They succeed when an unsuspecting employee falls for the bait.
It’s a reminder that even the smallest unintentional action, like clicking on a suspicious link or using weak passwords, can have major consequences. That’s why the human element is so crucial in cybersecurity. By providing comprehensive and engaging security awareness training, healthcare organizations can empower their employees to recognize and avoid these threats.
Healthcare SMBs: The #1 Target for Cybercriminals
It is crucial to understand that healthcare SMBs are the primary focus of cybercriminals, despite the misconception that they are less likely to be targeted due to their size. In reality, cybercriminals specifically target healthcare organizations because of the immense value of health records on the dark web. Health records are 200 times more valuable on the dark web compared to credit card information. This staggering difference in value makes healthcare SMBs an attractive prey for cybercriminals. Exploiting the typically less fortified security systems of SMBs, cybercriminals capitalize on any error made by an employee to launch widespread cyber attacks. To defend against these threats, it is crucial to prioritize security awareness training.
Going Above and Beyond: SAT & Cyber Insurance
While it’s crucial to comply with regulations like HIPAA to safeguard sensitive patient data, compliance is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s an even more compelling reason to invest in security awareness training: cyber insurance. In fact, almost every cyber insurance application now includes a question about whether your organization provides employees with security awareness training, including simulated phishing exercises. This requirement is not arbitrary; insurance carriers understand that employees are often the first line of defense in data breach incidents. So, by implementing security awareness training, you not only ensure regulatory compliance, but you also significantly enhance your eligibility for cyber insurance—a vital safety net in today’s world.
Safeguarding Your Operations: A Lesson from a Non-Healthcare SMB
Even though the following example does not involve a healthcare organization, it offers a clear demonstration of what could potentially occur in any SMB, including those in healthcare.
Patco Construction, Inc. is a Maine-based construction firm with fewer than 100 employees. An employee fell for a deceptive phishing email, inadvertently allowing a Trojan to be installed on the company’s systems. This Trojan enabled cybercriminals to capture online banking credentials and launch a series of unauthorized ACH transfers.
Over a brief period of seven days, approximately $588,000 was drained from Patco’s accounts. While the company’s bank was able to reclaim some of the stolen money, Patco still faced a significant net loss of $345,445. Further compounding their woes, they had to pay interest on substantial overdraft loans initiated because of the fraudulent transfers.
The financial upheaval created by the breach shook the very foundation of the company, leading to strained relationships with clients, potential disruptions in operations, and ongoing financial stress. This cautionary tale underlines the critical importance of security awareness training—it protects more than just your data. It plays a key role in defending your business’s operations and helping secure its future.
Investing in Your Organization’s Future
When it comes to cybersecurity, every healthcare SMB organization faces a critical decision: to invest in security awareness training or risk the devastating consequences of a single breach. But here’s the exciting part – not only does security awareness training shield you from breaches, it also delivers an impressive return on investment (ROI).
A study by Osterman Research revealed that small employers enjoyed a remarkable 69% ROI from security awareness training. And for larger organizations? Brace yourself for a mind-blowing 562% ROI! But that’s not all. Mimecast conducted a separate study and discovered that this training could slash the risk of a successful cyberattack by a whopping 70%. For a 1,000-employee organization, that translates to an average savings of $137,000 per year.
These eye-opening findings leave no room for doubt. Security awareness training is not just a cost-effective strategy, but a game-changing tool that fortifies your organization’s cybersecurity posture, delivers a high ROI, and ensures uninterrupted operations.
Conclusion: SAT to Stay Ahead of Evolving Threats
We recognize that healthcare workers have demanding schedules and numerous responsibilities. Finding the time and energy for security awareness training can be challenging. However, it is crucial for preventing breaches and maintaining HIPAA compliance. That’s why our PHIshMD training program was specifically developed to address these obstacles. Our concise, engaging, and memorable videos make it easier than ever to prioritize security awareness. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today to discover how PHIshMD can enhance your security training efforts and safeguard your organization’s sensitive data!