With so much reliance on digital recordkeeping, cloud-connected databases, and large-scale data sharing of patient information, quality healthcare managed security services are essential for any organization in the industry or adjacent to it. Managed security service providers (MSSPs) simplify compliance with applicable regulations and provide patients with the security and privacy they deserve by right.
Why Choose a Third-Party Service Provider?
Although most organizations can manage security for their own IT networks, the necessary expertise (and overhead) involved often presents complex challenges. But with so many options available today, it’s often difficult to find the solution that’s right for your team. There are two key areas to consider when making your decision to make this process as straightforward as possible:
- The most common and dangerous risks when using, processing, or storing healthcare data, including software-based threats and the potential fallout after an incident occurs
- The major benefits of a qualified provider’s managed security services
As an expert MSSP and compliance advisor, RSI Security will assist your organization’s cybersecurity and regulatory adherence efforts (e.g., HIPAA, HITRUST).
Understanding the Risks Associated With Healthcare Data
Organizations that operate in the healthcare sector face numerous risks concerning the usage and storage of patient data—referred to as (electronic) protected health information (i.e., PHI or ePHI). Outsourcing via managed security services for healthcare data will mitigate many of these issues. However, a basic knowledge of the most common risks can still go a long way in preventing data breaches, data theft, or other types of cybercrime.
First, it’s important to understand the different threat actors who might want to target your network with malicious intentions. Second, it’s also critical to understand the types of software that are commonly exploited when attempting to gain unauthorized entry into a protected network:
- External attacks – This is a catch-all category that encompasses any threat originating from outside your network.
- Internal threats – Threats can originate from within your organization, too—a disgruntled or malicious employee might already have access to sensitive records or databases within your network, so proper (and prompt) identity and access management is crucial. Alternatively, employees, processes, and policies may inadvertently lead to breaches.
- Malicious software – Some hackers take a more hands-off approach; they might employ malicious software—such as viruses or ransomware, which are commonly delivered via phishing techniques—to seize control of your system, access or modify files, and restrict access for legitimate, authorized users.
It’s also critical to examine some of the potential damage that a hacker or malicious user can cause within your network, including both short- and long-term impacts. The biggest include:
- Healthcare fraud – Patient data is often used by hackers to commit healthcare fraud. Generally, these activities aim to procure medications or to submit fraudulent insurance claims.
- Identity theft – Due to the comprehensiveness of ePHI, hackers can sometimes use stolen data to commit broader forms of identity fraud. There’s no limit to the amount of damage that might be caused to your clients.
- Service disruption – Other hackers aren’t out for direct monetary gain. Some may get at it indirectly by making life difficult, disrupting healthcare services to extract a ransom.
- Data for sale – In some cases, hackers use the dark web or other illicit avenues to sell stolen data. When personal information is shared in this matter, there’s no telling who might use it or what their intentions are—this could incur layered, long-term damages.
Benefits of Healthcare Managed Security Services
An MSSP provides tailored services to help strengthen your overall network security and protect electronic health records in many ways. Provided cybersecurity and compliance services commonly include:
- Securing your data – MSSPs strive to protect organizations’ databases and electronic health records both now and in the future, providing both program advisory and robust infrastructure implementation.
- Identifying specific risks – The initial service an MSSP should provide is to analyze your network with penetration testing, understand your needs, and identify any specific risks—then mitigate them. MSSPs should create a customized action plan based on the nuances of your organization.
- Improved ROI – Implementations and personnel management create new and complex challenges. Outsourcing IT security services, including c-suite level oversight, allows healthcare entities to better ensure they receive high returns on their investments.
- Maintaining compliance – A healthcare-experienced MSSP helps ensure that organizations are up-to-date with all applicable regulatory compliance standards and provide gap assessments and remediation advisory. Your organization benefits from proactive systems monitoring regarding HIPAA compliance and for other frameworks (e.g., HITRUST).
- Improving (or maintaining) your organization’s reputation – Data breaches damage a healthcare entity’s reputation. When it comes to improving or maintaining yours, MSSP services help you achieve the optimal levels of professionalism, integrity, and legitimacy necessary to succeed through short- and long-term cybersecurity incident management.
Protecting Your Data With RSI Security
RSI Security provides top-level managed security services and compliance advisory, especially for healthcare entities. We specialize in general network security, risk assessment, incident management, HIPAA compliance, and various other areas in cyberdefense.
Our experts are standing by, ready to help you rethink your cybersecurity architecture to protect your patients—and organization.
For more information on our healthcare managed security services, contact RSI Security today.