Identify Problems and Areas of Opportunity
Once you’ve established the importance of a cybersecurity awareness training program by tying objectives to patient care, you must deliver. Efforts that focus on esoteric security issues or are too broad will fall flat and quickly lose providers’ attention.
Define clear and concise objectives for your organization’s cybersecurity awareness training based on the current threats facing your organization and the knowledge gaps of providers. Tailor your messages to clearly address those objectives.
Are ransomware infections bringing down medical devices after users attempt to download unauthorized software? Explain how this behavior can take down crucial devices and prevent them from being used in patient care.
Are office staffers releasing medical information to other providers over the phone without properly confirming patient permission? Your awareness program should provide practical advice on the appropriate way to confirm patient consent and transfer information in a secure manner.
The specific content of a program should vary based on your organization’s needs, and it should continuously evolve. Keep your finger on the pulse and use that information to keep your awareness campaigns fresh and relevant to providers.
Deliver Consistent Messages on Preferred Platforms
The purpose of your cybersecurity awareness program should be to keep important issues and vulnerabilities top of mind for everyone in your organization so that they react appropriately when making crucial decisions in their day-to-day work.
It is not a movement to make providers and other staff members aware that a security awareness program exists. As long as you’re delivering timely and effective content, you don’t need to advertise everything as a cybersecurity awareness effort. In fact, the message might be more effective without IT department branding.
As you determine the best methods of delivery, think about how your stakeholders receive other important information. Is email an effective means of communication, or do providers routinely ignore it? Ask the same questions about staff meetings, newsletters, posters and other communications tools that might support your program.
Cybersecurity awareness is a crucial undertaking for every healthcare organization. Securing the privacy and security of patient records does require strong technical controls, but the responsibility for protecting this information rests on the shoulders of all providers and staff members — all of whom should be adequately educated.