Why Healthcare Companies Must Make Cybersecurity a Top Priority in 2019

Today’s healthcare providers universally recognize the importance of preventative care. Many hospital systems, managed care organizations and insurance payers spend millions of dollars on patient education. Just as people must proactively work to ensure good health through annual check-ups, and proper diet and exercise, so too must companies take responsibility for their own cybersecurity.

 

According to Becker’s Hospital Review, cyber attacks are so taxing on the healthcare industry that they cost approximately 5.6 billion dollars annually! Let’s consider what that means to you and your organization, specifically.

 

3 Reasons Why Cybersecurity Should Be a Top Priority:

 

  • HIPAA – We all know that the healthcare industry is highly regulated. The protection of private patient information is of particular importance. Not only is it an ethical mandate, but it’s also a legal imperative. Penalties assessed for violations can be staggering. No nursing agency or facility wants to be on the wrong side of HIPAA due to a preventable cyber attack.

 

  • Financial Implications – The costs of a security breach can be devastating to a home health agency or other healthcare company. In addition to HIPAA-violation penalties, organizations will likely suffer from lawsuits, fraud recovery costs and operational losses. A major cyber attack can also shut down shop entirely, making it impossible to conduct business.

 

  • You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know – One of the most devastating aspects of a cyber attack is that an organization often doesn’t realize it’s a victim until long afterward. Unfortunately, the resulting damage is far worse than if the attack had been quickly identified. Preventing an attack is the first goal, but a quick response is next on the list.

 

3 Simple Ways to Protect Your Company from Cyber Attacks:

 

  • Invest in Anti-Virus Technology – Cybersecurity technology is a booming business, but there’s a reason why… it works! Don’t pinch pennies when it comes to investing in this important infrastructure. Review options online or perhaps schedule vendor meetings to demo customized solutions.

 

  • Set Compliance Expectations – It is critical that healthcare organizations implement employee compliance expectations that complement cybersecurity tools. The best technology in the world is worthless if not properly utilized. For this reason, management should train workers on proper security protocols and enforce compliance with HIPAA-level diligence. If employees know that they will be held accountable for cybersecurity best practices, they are far more likely to stay compliant.

 

  • Back-Up Data – The number one rule in computing is to regularly back-up data. A great way to do this in the context of your business is to rely on both a cloud-based solution and physical hard storage. The latter should be secured onsite in a locked room or closet for additional safety. This diversity of access hedges risks, some of which are virtual (web hacks, etc.) and others that are physical (fire, earthquake, flood, etc.)

 

When it’s all said and done, remember that healthcare organizations are responsible for their own cybersecurity. It may seem like an expensive and time-consuming investment but not when weighed against the costs of a catastrophic security breach. Companies seeking healthcare resources in San Diego should also consider the assistance of a proven staffing partner.

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