Cybersecurity within the healthcare industry has come a long way over the last several years, but one thing the pandemic showed us is that we still have a very long way to go on the fight against digital identity fraud. Ransomware is at an all-time high, and the number of attacks and breaches continue to increase within the industry.
As healthcare becomes more accessible and digital, it opens both patient data and internal systems to risk. The threat against these systems is constantly evolving and, in the coming years, leaders need dynamic security strategies that can evolve at the same rate as their threats.
Using Digital Identity to Defend Against Attacks
The conversation around cybersecurity has shifted. In the past, the debate was whether healthcare organizations should invest in single vs. multi-factor authentication. Today, a majority of healthcare organizations know the importance of multi-factor authentication. The conversation has now shifted to how best to guard against attacks using not only a person’s physical identity but their digital identity as well. Threats such as ransomware, malware, BOT attacks, phishing and denial of service through patient, employee and vendor portals, medical devices and mobile applications leave organizations with gaps in their security strategy that need to be addressed.
Strengthening Defenses with a Network
The challenges in the form of ransomware, phishing and BOT attacks can be addressed with the addition of dynamic device assessment technology supported by an extensive cross-industry, HIPAA compliant contributory network. This network should leverage machine learning to respond to the ever-changing cyber schemes being used to invade healthcare systems.
Having the ability to assess every device accessing a browser, mobile application or patient portal for compromises is imperative. To strengthen the impact of that capability, customers need to leverage the knowledge acquired by other brands that interact with the same consumers and devices daily. By having access to this knowledge, healthcare organizations can make access decisions based on a device’s behavior and history, even if it’s their first time seeing the device in their network.
Leveraging Advanced Digital Identity Technology
The most advanced healthcare organizations are addressing cybersecurity by investing not only in multi-factor authentication but also with the addition of device and digital identity security solutions as well. These strategies are not only being deployed in the areas of patient portals and mobile applications, but they are also being integrated into employee and vendor portals and call centers, as many people have moved to remote working environments leaving customers and their devices vulnerable to targeted phishing attacks and unsecure networks.
In addition to new account creation and login transactions, advanced organizations are looking into the future of the 21st Century Cures Act and interoperability. In preparation for the movement of medical data via API, they are investing in capabilities that will allow them to verify and authenticate that the person requesting that their medical information.
Take 3 Necessary Steps for a Proactive Defense
In a world of remote care and the promotion of interoperability, we must continue to invest in the protection of both patient data and our internal systems so that we can continue to serve patients and members no matter where they access care or medical information. The best way to do that is to:
- Identify access points to sensitive or HIPAA-protected data within your system.
- Take an inventory of the security capabilities that exist at those points of access.
- Does it qualify as multi-factor authentication?
- Does it address both digital and physical identity?
- Highlight any gaps within your security strategy and work on ways to address them.
Lastly, know that you are not alone. There are organizations out here that specialize in performing gap analysis and prescribing a cybersecurity strategy that will not only fit your organizational needs but will equip you to proactively defend against evolving cybercriminal schemes, protect patients and internal systems, comply with the 21st Century Cures Act. Learn more about Identity Access Management solutions.