Cybersecurity Solutions for Healthcare

We ask a lot from our healthcare practitioners, including that they safeguard our sensitive data. With healthcare cybercrime on the rise, robust healthcare data security has never been more critical.

By learning as much as possible about data privacy in the healthcare industry, we can protect vulnerable information from cyber-attacks by creating a secure perimeter around both the server and client-sides of your organization.

What is data security in healthcare?

For a variety of reasons, the healthcare industry has moved more and more of its operations online over the last several years.

From the rise of telemedicine to internet-connected medical devices like insulin pumps and defibrillators, healthcare organizations are taking on much greater quantities of personal and private patient information. While there are regulations like HIPAA that guide their use of this information, the unfortunate reality is that many cybersecurity solutions for healthcare are woefully behind at offering the same level of security and compliance online.

The result is that the healthcare industry has become an increasingly valuable target for hackers. There have been more than 2,100 data breaches in the healthcare industry alone since 2009. This is estimated to cost the United States up to $7 billion annually.

If that wasn’t bad enough, it has also been estimated that nearly 40% of healthcare breaches go undetected for months, leaving plenty of time for every record in the organization to be scraped for information.

Healthcare data security threats and vulnerabilities

Healthcare organizations are already stretched thin. The more we understand the current threats that make them vulnerable, the easier it will be for us to implement better healthcare data security for companies in this industry.

By specifically targeting common client-side threats, we can offer these organizations more protection without making their busy working lives any more complex than necessary.

Here are some of the most common client-side threats healthcare organizations face today.

Cross-site scripting (XSS)

A cross-site scripting attack is when a hacker places a piece of malicious script into a website. Then, when an unsuspecting user comes across the page, it targets their browser, opening up access to the rest of their sensitive files and information.

SQL injection

Another common client-side threat that is frequently used against healthcare organizations is the SQL injection. By manipulating the SQL statement in an entry field, the hacker can interfere with the query made by the target application to the database. This has the potential to open entire folders of sensitive information to the hacker’s view.

PII harvesting

As you may be starting to realize, many client-side attacks target vulnerable areas of an organization’s website and take advantage of these interaction points to access sensitive information, making healthcare data security a major priority. If this is not done through cross-site scripting or an SQL injection, it’s called Personally Identifiable Information (PII) harvesting.

Cybersecurity solutions for healthcare

Protecting your healthcare organization from cyber threats is critical to ensure you remain in compliance with HIPAA and other regulatory measures that outline expectations for safe data handling.

Many organizations make the mistake of only focusing on internal server-side threats, instead of creating a firewall around their entire system. While it’s important to engage strong security practices when it comes to your internal data handling, make sure you never forget the client-side of your organization.

Threats against your client-side security posture will continue to grow, especially as more healthcare organizations take their operations online. Many of the largest breaches have also happened during the pandemic, as many hospitals, clinics, and practices look for easier ways to connect with patients.

By implementing these cybersecurity solutions for your healthcare organization, you can decrease your risk for a data breach and keep your network secure, allowing your providers to focus on what matters most—treating patients.

Engage content security policy

A content security policy is a client-side protection that is designed to repel a variety of common threats, including clickjacking, cross-site scripting, and more. If your organization is not already in compliance with this security standard, the switch should be made immediately.

Regular healthcare penetration testing

The only way to be sure that your organization is offering robust protection to both the client-side and server side of your system is to run a penetration test. This is where an analyst tries to penetrate your system in the same way a hacker would if they were trying to access your sensitive data.

This process identifies crucial weaknesses and vulnerabilities in your current security posture and provides a to-do list of areas that require immediate protection.

Limit network access

It’s understandable for healthcare providers to be excited by the potential offered by internet-connected medical devices that allow for greater remote patient monitoring. However, giving these devices access to your network before a protective security policy is in place for their use can be dangerous. To help make it easier for your staff while still protecting data privacy in the healthcare industry, make a policy of limiting network access for these devices before they’ve been set up by an IT professional.

Regularly monitor for unauthorized script activity

Instead of guessing how your client-side attack surface is being targeted, it’s easier to simply monitor it for suspect script activity on an ongoing basis. Two types of responsive data security software that will benefit your healthcare organization are Inspector and PageGuard.

Inspector

Inspector protects by continually reporting vulnerabilities on your client-side while providing advice on how to mitigate these weaknesses.

PageGuard

PageGuard protects your web pages and applications in real-time by automatically detecting and blocking unauthorized scripts.

Together, they can help your organization
achieve a stronger security posture
through ongoing, real-time monitoring and
protection.

Get better healthcare
data security software

Looking for help in the ongoing fight against bad actors and cybercriminals? Engaging Feroot’s healthcare data security software can make it easier to maintain a strong security posture without adding extra monitoring or diagnostic work to your team’s already busy schedule.

Click here to request a demo, so you can try either Inspector or PageGuard for yourself today.