Guest Editorial by Andrew Deen
The healthcare industry has been transitioning into an increasingly digital space for years. Health records are now available online. This has given patients more autonomy than ever, allowing them to easily access their own health information.
It also creates new points of vulnerability. In this article, we take a look at how healthcare can keep a stronger lockdown on their cybersecurity.
Good Security Culture
More than half of all healthcare networks have been investing heavily in their cybersecurity infrastructure. However, even very good security systems are useless against bad practices.
The Marriott breach was traced back to a phishing email. Hospitals are just as vulnerable.
(A privacy breach at the Marriott chain of hotels may have exposed the credit card, passport, and personal information of up to half a billion people. Courtesy of CBC News and YouTube. Posted on Nov 30, 2018.)
Healthcare systems should work on establishing a culture of cybersecurity that extends from the top down.
Many people working within the healthcare system may genuinely stand to benefit from regular cyber security reminders. Doctors and nurses—especially older doctors and nurses—are often unaware of cyber security protocol.
Simple educational efforts can prevent major breaches.
(Tenet Health, which operates St. Mary’s Medical Center and Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach, said Tuesday that the company “experienced a cybersecurity incident last week.” Courtesy of WPTV News and YouTube. Posted on Apr 26, 2022.)
Recognize the Vulnerabilities of Mobile Devices
Mobile technology is vulnerable in ways that desktops are not. In addition to being susceptible to all of the other forms of hacking that desktop units fall victim to they also have to worry about:
Loss and theft:
A cell phone with important healthcare data that gets lost in a café is vulnerable to breach, either by bad actors or by someone who is inspecting the device to figure out how to return it.
Unsecure Wifi Networks:
Public wifi networks are frequently used by hackers to access sensitive information. Networks that sound official can easily be set up to funnel data directly to a hacker.
For the healthcare professional who is just trying to get in a game of Wordle while they wait for their coffee, it can be hard to tell the difference.
Weak Authentication Processes:
Mobile technology also often has weaker authentication protection. The reason for this is simple: you don’t want to have to enter a novel of a password just to open up your cell phone.
Most smartphones now have multi-step authentication processes that are noninvasive.
Using a combination of fingerprints, face scans, and passwords is an easy way to secure mobile technology without incurring much inconvenience.
People working within the healthcare system should be very careful with how and where they use their mobile technology. They may also benefit from having separate devices for personal and professional use.
Well Maintained Devices
Maintenance is also key to a strong network of cybersecurity. Virtually every western healthcare network has some cybersecurity infrastructure.
However, if the devices running these networks are not well maintained, the entire effort may be for naught. Update regularly. Look for places that need patches, or upgrades.
Computers can be like cars. Chances are something is not at peak performance. Understand what your devices need and make sure they are regularly serviced.
Finally, consider the services of cybersecurity professionals. Security consultants can test the vulnerability of your systems, sometimes behaving in the manner of a hacker to determine what your points of vulnerability are.
From there, they can recommend tailored steps you can take to fortify your security and protect against future breaches.
Large healthcare networks may benefit from full-time cyber security staff, while smaller systems could still see good results from using the services of a freelancer.
About the Author
Andrew Deen has been a consultant for startups in almost every industry from computer security to medical devices and everything in between.
He implements lean methodology and currently writing a book about scaling up businesses.
New Jersey City University Takes Platinum for Education in 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards
American Security Today’s Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards is the preeminent U.S. Homeland Security Awards Program, and now in its Seventh Year, continues to recognize industry leaders of Physical and Border Security, Cybersecurity, Emergency Preparedness – Management and Response, Law Enforcement, First Responders, as well as federal, state and municipal government agencies in the acknowledgment of their outstanding efforts to Keep our Nation Secure.
Best Cyber Security Education
Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity Defense is a multidisciplinary Center that supports New Jersey City University’s (NJCU) mission as an institution that provides its diverse population of students, faculty, and community with scholarship and pragmatic approaches to the field of Information Assurance.
Information Assurance is generally defined to include cyber security, cyber forensics, data quality, data completeness, data accuracy, privacy, and issues associated with the storage, communication, and sharing of data and information.
The Center involves faculty and students from across the University in teaching and learning, service projects, and research.
The Center aligns itself with faculty and students at other institutions such as Community and other four-year Colleges, with an overall mission to enhance the security and integrity of information within the geographical region, with future plans to extend nationally and beyond.
The Cybersecurity Program at NJCU takes a leadership role within information assurance and cyber defense by contributing to the Homeland Defense initiative.
(Explore what New Jersey City University has to offer today! This video provides a great overview and introduction to the campus! The university welcomes you to come and experience firsthand what NJCU has to offer. Courtesy of NJCU and YouTube.)
*New Jersey City University was also recognized in the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Awards, and NJCU Adjunct Professor Ewart Williams was honored in the 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program.
The Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards highlight the most cutting-edge and forward-thinking security solutions coming onto the market today, to ensure our readers have the information they need to stay ahead of the competition and keep our Nation safe – one facility, street, and city at a time.
The United States was forever changed 20 years ago on September 11th, and we were fortunate to have many of those who responded to those horrific tragedies join us at the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Luncheon.In the days that followed 9/11, the critical needs of protecting our country catapulted us into new and innovative ways to secure our homeland – which is how many of the agencies and enterprise organizations that are today ‘ASTORS’ Awards Champions, came into being.
Our 2021 keynote speaker featured a moving and informative address from TSA Administrator and Vice-Admiral of the United States Coast Guard (Ret), David Pekoske; to our attendees who traveled from across the United States and abroad, on the strategic priorities of the 64,000 member TSA workforce in securing the transportation system, enabling safe, and in many cases, contactless travel.
Legendary Police Commissioner William Bratton of the New York Police Department, the Boston Police Department, and former Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department was also live at the event, meeting with attendees and signing copies of his latest work ‘The Profession: A Memoir of Community, Race, and the Arc of Policing in America,’ courtesy of the generosity of our 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Premier Sponsors.
The 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program was Proudly Sponsored by AMAROK, Fortior Solutions and SIMS Software, along with Returning Premier Sponsors ATI Systems, Attivo Networks, Automatic Systems, and Reed Exhibitions.
The continually evolving ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program will emphasize the trail of Accomplished Women in Leadership in 2022, as well as the Significance and Positive Impact of Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in our Next Generation of Government and Industry Leaders. #MentorshipMattersSo be on the lookout for exciting upcoming announcements of Speakers, Presenters, Book Signing Opportunities, and Attendees at the 2022 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Presentation Luncheon in November of 2022 in New York City!
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In 2021 over 200 distinguished guests representing Federal, State and Local Governments, and Industry Leading Corporate Firms gathered from across North America, Europe, and the Middle East to be honored among their peers in their respective fields which included:
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AlertMedia, Allied Universal, AMAROK, ATI Systems, Attivo Networks, Axis Communications, Automatic Systems of America, BriefCam, Canon U.S.A., Fortior Solutions, guardDog.ai, Hanwha Techwin of America, HID Global, Mark43, IPVideo Corporation, Konica Minolta Business Solutions, Lumina Analytics, NEC National Security Systems, NICE Public Safety, OnSolve, PureTech Systems, Quantum Corporation, Rave Mobile Safety, Regroup Mass Notification, Robotic Assistance Devices, Rajant Corporation, SafeLogic, Senstar Corporation, ShotSpotter, Singlewire Software, SolarWinds Worldwide, Teledyne FLIR, Valor Systems, and Wiresecure, just to name a few!
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To learn more about ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Award Winners solutions, please see the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS Edition Fully Interactive Magazine – the Best Products of 2021 ‘A Year in Review’.
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From Physical Security (Access Control, Critical Infrastructure, Perimeter Protection, and Video Surveillance Cameras and Video Management Systems), to IT Security (Cybersecurity, Encryption, Data Storage, Anti-Malware and Networking Security – Just to name a few), the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS EDITION has what you need to Detect, Delay, Respond to, and Mitigate today’s real-time threats in our constantly evolving security landscape.
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