Common Mistakes to Avoid in Healthcare Security Monitoring

It has never been more necessary for the healthcare industry to have a thorough, well-planned security than now. As the industry continues to blend physical and remote work environments while leveraging the cloud, their vulnerability to cybersecurity threats grows. In fact, the average cost of cybersecurity issues in 2021 was the highest in the 17-year history of IBM's Cost of a Data Breach Report.

Mistakes affecting patients and medical personnel can occur in the healthcare profession. However, according to a 2017 HIPAA Journal article, data breaches have been on the rise since 2009, posing significant privacy risks due to stolen or lost healthcare records and information. In fact, approximately 176 million healthcare records were exposed during that time period, accounting for more than 50% of the US population. This news alone should establish a feeling of urgency and seriousness when it comes to protecting patients' lives and information, and it should also serve as a reminder to healthcare workers to use their best judgment when working in the field.

healthcare-data-breach-statistics-data

Source: HIPPA JOURNAL

The Importance of Healthcare Cybersecurity

The cyberattacks have had a wide range of negative implications for healthcare institutions and their business partners, ranging from harming the brand to hefty fines and settlements in cases where HIPAA violations were discovered (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). In fact, between 2009 and 2021, the HHS Office for Civil Rights received reports of 4,419 healthcare data breaches including 500 or more records. These breaches resulted in the loss, theft, unauthorized disclosure, or exposure of 314,063,186 healthcare records. This translates to more than 94.63% of the US population in 2021. Healthcare data breaches were reported at a rate of about one per day in 2018. In four years, the rate has more than doubled. A daily average of 1.95 breaches involving 500 or more records of healthcare data were recorded in 2021.

healthcare-data-breach-statistics

Source: HIPPA JOURNAL

As a result of the increasing number of cyberattacks on healthcare organizations, you must take the required security measures to safeguard your data. The HIPAA Security Rule requires HIPAA-covered entities to implement administrative, physical, and technical protections to keep ePHI protected and secure. Hence, in this piece of article, we will guide you through some of the mistakes you can avoid in safeguarding your data. Implementing these will help keep your patient data safe and secure.

8 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Healthcare Security Monitoring

Understanding privacy blunders in the healthcare sector can help you have a successful career built on trust and communication in an era when privacy and information security are under the microscope. Here are eight frequent healthcare security blunders that you need to avoid for safeguarding your data:

1. Inadequate Access Control and Permission Management

Lack of effective access controls and permission management is a common security mistake made by healthcare organizations and their business associates. This can expose your data to theft and unwanted access. Access controls are safeguards that limit the access of your data to only the people that has your permission. In contrast, permission management is the process of providing or denying users particular permissions to view, edit, or delete data. These protections will help to ensure that only permission-passed individuals have access to your data.

Here are some problems that can arise from poor access controls and permission management:

healthcare-cybersecurit-challenges

Source: Maryville University

2. Lack of Quality Security Controls in Healthcare Organizations

The lack of encryption and other critical security controls on key infrastructure is one of healthcare facilities' most common cybersecurity blunders. Due to this, Patient information is vulnerable to theft and unauthorized access. As a result, encryption and other security controls are required. Encryption is one of the most effective methods of protecting healthcare data from cyberattacks. It scrambles your data, making it unreadable without a unique key or password. This makes it difficult for hackers to steal your information or for someone who illegally acquires your data to use it. Other security controls, including firewalls, antivirus software, and malware protection, aid in the protection of your systems and the prevention of illegal access to your data. Putting these precautions in place will help to keep your systems safe from cybercriminals. According to Entrust's Global Encryption Trends research, client data is the top encryption priority among the organizations polled. In 2021, however, only 42% of responders employed encryption to protect their consumer data.

Here are three ways you can encrypt patient information

encrypt-patient-information

Source: Maryville University

3. False sense of security

Large organizations have equally large targets on their backs, and the only thing keeping them safe is their cybersecurity. Small firms, on the other hand, are frequently lulled into a false feeling of security, assuming that cybercriminals would not consider them worthy of attack. In actuality, 43% of cyber attacks are directed at small firms, particularly those in the legal, insurance, retail, finance, and healthcare industries. In fact, 61% of SMBs were the target of a Cyberattack in 2021. The lesson here is clear: all firms must prioritize cybersecurity since even little incidents can produce huge commercial consequences if not managed properly.

Here are three ways you can encrypt patient information

small-businesses-hit-by-cyber-attacks

Source: Renolon

4. Usage of Personal Devices to access ePHI

Large organizations have equally large targets on their backs, and the only thing keeping them safe is their cybersecurity. Small firms, on the other hand, are frequently lulled into a false feeling of security, assuming that cybercriminals would not consider them worthy of attack. In actuality, 43% of cyber attacks are directed at small firms, particularly those in the legal, insurance, retail, finance, and healthcare industries. In fact, 61% of SMBs were the target of a Cyberattack in 2021. The lesson here is clear: all firms must prioritize cybersecurity since even little incidents can produce huge commercial consequences if not managed properly.

5. Ignoring Critical Cybersecurity Hygiene

If every cybersecurity program were built on a robust foundation, fraudsters would have a difficult time achieving their evil intentions. Unfortunately, firms continue to ignore critical cyber hygiene procedures such as multi-factor authentication, data encryption, patching, and network monitoring, among others. Why? Because even basic cyber hygiene policies require time and skill to execute, and many firms cannot afford to engage even one full-time IT staffer. However, the same firms can collaborate with a managed IT service provider and rely on its team of IT professionals to ensure that all systems work smoothly, safely, and efficiently. Here are some top cybersecurity topics:

top-cyber-security-training-topics

Source: Renolon

6. Not knowing what needs to be protected

Having best-in-class cybersecurity tools does not immediately translate into relevant, actionable information. Tools alone will not establish a strong security culture. To create a complete cybersecurity program, it is critical to understand what needs to be safeguarded, which requires visibility throughout the entire information technology infrastructure. When employees are allowed to bring their own devices to work and connect to the corporate network from remote locations and personal devices, this necessary visibility might be more difficult to obtain. Therefore, it's a good idea to examine whether the benefits of such activities are worth the headaches.

7. Inadequate Cyber Security Training

Finally, one of the most prevalent cybersecurity blunders made by healthcare firms is inadequate cybersecurity training. Employees must be aware of the risks of cybersecurity breaches and learn how to defend themselves against these threats. Unfortunately, many healthcare firms do not provide enough cybersecurity training to their personnel, leaving them vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. According to a recent research, 80% of organizations reported that cybersecurity training lowered their employees' susceptibility to phishing attempts. That reduction does not happen instantaneously, but it can happen quickly, with frequent training reducing risk from 60% to 10% in the first 12 months.

inadequate-cyber-security-training

Source: Infosecinstitute

8. Silo Security Monitoring

One of the most costly mistakes a healthcare firm can make is siloed security monitoring. A lack of cross-departmental communication will only prolong unforeseen downtime. This is a common blunder that occurs across all sectors. Organizations frequently place so much emphasis on monitoring that they fail to generate meaningful action and fail to contact the key stakeholders for better coordination and collaboration. This strategy will cause healthcare organizations to miss the big picture.

Avoid Common Cyber Security Errors

Regardless of how widespread the eight errors outlined in this article are, they can all be corrected with minimal effort. The payoff is a more robust cybersecurity program capable of preventing even the most dangerous threats from causing irreversible damage. When it comes to the implementation of new technology or procedures in the healthcare sector, it is critical that businesses undergo a culture shift to ensure that adoption is viewed as a reward rather than a penalty. Continuity of care is the most critical aspect of a hospital's lifecycle; consequently, ensuring the technology that allows healthcare business to occur should be the most significant technology an organization invests in.

Ready to get started

Get your email message delivered to healthcare professionals quickly and cost effectively.