Ransomware attacks are targeting healthcare organizations more frequently. The number of costly cyberattacks on US hospitals has doubled. So how do you prevent these attacks? Keep reading to learn five ways you can strengthen security at your organization. But first, let’s find out what’s at stake.

Why healthcare needs better cybersecurity

Healthcare organizations are especially vulnerable to data breaches because of how much data they hold. And when a breach happens, it creates financial burdens and affects regulatory compliance. On average, the cost of a healthcare data breach globally is $10.93 million. Noncompliance not only incurs more costs but also hurts patient trust. Once that trust is lost, it’s difficult to regain it, which can impact your business and standing within the industry.

Adopting a layered security approach will help your organization prevent these attacks. Here are five ways to strengthen your cybersecurity:

1. Use preventive security technology

Prevention, as the saying goes, prevention is better than the cure. With the right systems and the right methodology, it’s possible to detect and intercept most cyberthreats before they lead to a data breach, a loss of service, or a deterioration in patient care.
Examples of prevention-layer technologies include:

2. Provide cybersecurity training

According to Verizon, 82 percent of all breaches involve a human element. Sometimes malicious insiders create security vulnerabilities. Other times, well-intentioned employees fall victim to attacks like phishing, legitimate-looking emails that trick employees into giving attackers their credentials or other sensitive information—like patient data. In fact, 16 percent of breaches start with phishing.

When your employees receive basic cybersecurity training, they are more likely to recognize bad actors, report suspicious activity, and avoid risky behavior. You can outsource cybersecurity training or find an automated security training solution that you manage.

3. Ensure regulatory compliance

Healthcare providers are subject to strict data privacy regulations like HIPPA and GDPR. If an avoidable data breach occurs, organizations face hefty fines from state and federal authorities. The email and endpoint protection tools described above help you stay compliant with these regulations.

But sometimes a breach is out of your control. So regulators have provided guidelines for how to respond, including investigation, notification, and recovery.

4. Build business recovery plans

Adding a recovery plan to your multilayered security approach is crucial to achieving and maintaining cyber resilient healthcare. Ideally, you’ll catch most incoming threats before they become an issue. However, the recovery layer is critical when threats do get through or disasters occur.

You might think that your cloud-based applications back up and secure your data. But SaaS vendors explicitly state that data protection and backup is the customer’s responsibility of the customer. Some SaaS applications have recovery options, but they’re limited and ineffective. A separate backup system is necessary to ensure business continuity.

Reasons for implementing a solid recovery strategy include:

  • Re-establishing patient trust.
  • Avoiding disruptions to patient care.
  • Remaining compliant with HIPPA and GDPR requirements.

Remember, lives depend on getting your systems back up quickly. That’s why your healthcare organization needs a secure, continuously updated backup and recovery solution for local and cloud servers.

5. Monitor and improve continuously

Once you have your multilayered security approach in place, you’ll need a centralized management console to help you monitor and control all your security services. This single-pane-of-glass gives you real-time cyber intelligence and all the tools you need to protect your healthcare organization, your reputation, and your investment in digital transformation. You can also spot gaps in your approach and find ways to improve.


Cybersecurity can seem daunting at times. Just remember that every step you take toward cyber resilience helps you protect patient privacy and maintain your credibility within the healthcare industry.
So when you’re feeling overwhelmed or stuck, remember the five ways you can strengthen your layered cybersecurity approach:

  1. Use preventive technology like endpoint protection and email encryption.
  2. Train your employees to recognize malicious activities like phishing.
  3. Ensure that you’re compliant with HIPPA, GDPR, and any other regulation standards.
  4. Retrieve your data from breaches with backup and recovery tools.
  5. Monitor your data and improve your approach when necessary.

The post 5 ways to strengthen healthcare cybersecurity appeared first on Webroot Blog.


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