If you’re in the healthcare industry, resiliency is part of your daily life. You see physical and emotional resilience in the eyes of the patients you serve and the healthcare providers you work with. This resiliency helps them persevere in the face of adversity.
But there is a type of resiliency most businesses (especially those in healthcare) often neglect: Cyber resiliency.
[This article is part of our Guide to Cybersecurity]
The threat of cyber attacks on healthcare companies
Why is cyber resilience important for healthcare organizations?
Before we answer that question, it’s important to emphasize the severity of cyber attacks. Hackers constantly target healthcare companies. In the first half of 2023 we saw healthcare companies experiencing a 60% year-over-year increase in cyberattacks.
The cost of data breaches on healthcare organizations
Hackers commonly use data breach attacks on healthcare companies. When a data breach occurs, one of two things normally happen:
- Your IT infrastructure shuts down.
A data breach can introduce malicious software (malware) or viruses that prevent your IT infrastructure from functioning.
Your IT infrastructure comprises your organization’s software, hardware, systems, and networking components. It also allows you to provide your customers with resources, such as patient portals and health-related information. Keeping infrastructure running is critical.
- You lose sensitive data (such as healthcare data)
A data breach can result in the theft of sensitive data from your partners, employees, or those you serve. If this happens, you risk the trust of everyone who associates with your organization. And if that happens, you risk your company’s future.
Data breaches can have other damaging consequences, but the bottom line is this: Data breaches can be costly.
Data breach stats
Data breach attacks on healthcare companies are rising. They impacted 31 million people during the last six months of 2022. In the first half of 2023, the number shot up to 40 million people impacted by data breaches in healthcare companies.
Each breach impacted an average of 131,000 people.
From January to October 2023, the numbers rose even faster. 100 million people were impacted by healthcare data breaches in those 10 months.
The threat of data breaches
There is tremendous value in the healthcare data your company holds. You know it, and unfortunately, hackers know it too. Data breaches threaten to expose and exploit sensitive data.
Don’t put your data at risk by having a lack of cyber resilience.
So, what is cyber resilience?
It’s important that your organization has a high level of cyber resilience. When you do, your IT infrastructure experiences little to no downtime during and after a cyber attack.
If a cyber attack brings down your IT infrastructure, anyone you work with or serve feels its impact.
It’s vital this doesn’t happen.
Cyber resilience vs. traditional cybersecurity
Perhaps your organization is already using traditional cybersecurity methods. If so, you should still be aware of cyber resilience.
While the two are similar, cyber resilience and traditional cybersecurity are not interchangeable terms.
Cyber resilience and cybersecurity each have a different focus.
Traditional cybersecurity primarily focuses on preventing and defending against cyber attacks.
But while cyber resilience doesn’t ignore prevention and defense, it primarily focuses on:
- Ensuring your company keeps running despite an attack.
- Helping your company get back to normal as soon as possible after an attack.
To maintain business continuity, you must be resilient to cyber threats. To do that, you need a cyber resilience plan.
The importance of a cyber resilience plan
A healthcare provider wouldn’t encourage a patient to improve their health without giving them a plan to follow.
Just telling someone to “be healthier” is too vague.
As cybersecurity experts, we view cyber resilience in a similar way.
What is cybersecurity resilience going to do for your organization if you don’t have a plan?
Cyber resilience is only useful when you have actionable steps — steps that ensure your business remains functional in the face of cyber attacks.
The components of a cyber resilience plan
Here are a few key components to include in your cyber resilience plan:
- Preparing for potential cyber threats.
- Conducting risk assessments, regular security audits, and employee training sessions.
- Installing cybersecurity measures such as firewalls, email filtering, and anti-virus / anti-malware apps.
- Identifying cyber threats quickly through continuous security monitoring.
- Containing cyber threats to maintain business continuity.
- Restoring and repairing damaged systems and data.
- Ensuring your cyber resilience plan is continually adapting to new cyber threats, so you can keep your IT infrastructure running.
It’s a short list that’s quite time-consuming to implement.
Two options for increasing your cyber resilience
Now that you know what goes into a cyber resilience plan, you have two options:
- Create and implement it yourself.
- Hire a managed service provider (MSP) to help.
With a qualified MSP, you can take proactive steps towards enhancing your organization’s cyber resilience.
In addition to helping you create and implement an effective cyber resilience plan, a qualified MSP:
- Identifies and contains cyber threats.
- Trains your employees on new cybersecurity practices and solutions.
- Helps you create a traditional cybersecurity plan for addressing cyber attacks.
- Tests and improves solutions to protect your healthcare company from cyber attacks.
InfoSystems Can Serve as Your MSP to Help You Increase Your Cyber Resilience
The work you do is too important for your organization to stop functioning. And the risk is too high for your employees, partners, and those you serve.
So, don’t wait until a cyber attack halts your IT infrastructure.
[This article is part of our Guide to Cybersecurity]
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