Strategic CIO

Is Ensuring Healthcare Security a Daunting Task for CIOs?

The healthcare technology industry has paved the way for large-scale tech integration. Organizations have made significant headway in machine learning, wearables, data analytics, and creating platforms to facilitate easy communication between patients and healthcare providers. Unfortunately, the multitude of critical data and patient safety poses a unique set of healthcare security challenges. In this article at Health IT Security, Jessica Davis explains that chief information officers (CIOs) in the medical industry must embed IT at its core to handle cybersecurity challenges.

Healthcare Information Systems, A Target for Security Threats

According to security experts, medical information offers several sources for identity theft to threat actors. A single record with protected health information may contain medical history, payment information, treatment information, and a social security number. SecureLink’s report indicates that one medical record can be worth up to $250 on the black market. Having large quantities of valuable data comes with many security risks that CIOs must be able to balance.

How Can CIOs Ensure Cybersecurity?

Technology is just one part of security. While technology service plays a critical role, the entire organization must be re-engaged to make a difference,” says Davis. Therefore, IT leaders must:

  • Help employees understand their role in healthcare security and the impact on patient’s lives
  • Create a plan that outlines protocols for handling networks and information—physical and virtual—and ensure they are followed
  • Utilize two-factor authorization and implement automatic monthly password updates
  • Establish strict protocols regarding the use of mobile devices and the disposal of hardware that has previously contained sensitive information

Fortunately, it is possible to minimize vulnerabilities in the healthcare sector. As a CIO, utilize technology that provides an overview of devices on the network. This helps you see what information is vulnerable and gain visibility into the new or unauthorized devices that have joined the system. You can then establish the restrictions for each device on the network. Security experts also recommend CIOs think like hackers. Understanding how a threat actor manipulates a network can highlight potential gaps in your plan and ensure healthcare security.

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