1. Network Assessments to Reconfigure and Update Systems
Healthcare networks are complex, connecting many provider locations and enterprise systems. They also tend to expand quickly as organizations acquire new practices and connect those networks with their own.
Such rapid-fire expansion can lead to network environments with many diverse technologies that may not be fully understood by the central networking team. It’s a recipe for disaster as network components go unpatched, become misconfigured or simply fail in a manner that jeopardizes security.
Unless teams are paying careful attention, these security issues may create an easy target for an attacker seeking to gain access to a provider’s network.
Network security assessments ferret out these issues and bring them to the attention of cybersecurity professionals. The review begins with automated scanning tools that identify all active devices on a network and probe them for vulnerabilities. Scanners may detect outdated operating systems and applications, missing patches, nonsecure configurations, default accounts and other security issues that might tempt a hacker.
Then, the assessor produces a ranked list of vulnerabilities, along with remediation instructions designed to help cybersecurity teams prioritize their work and quickly repair the most significant security issues.
Skilled network security assessors also provide interpretation of these reports specific to their clients’ business context, allowing them to identify false positives and adjust priorities based upon the criticality and sensitivity of affected systems.
2. Application Assessments to Safeguard Your Software
Software is the engine that powers healthcare. From electronic medical records and patient billing systems to diagnostic image processing and prescription management, the platforms manage lifesaving processes and information.
With millions of lines of code and integrations that tie components together, this software is also quite complicated. That complexity leads to a heightened potential for mistakes that can affect system security.
A small undetected error in a software package, for instance, could create an authentication weakness that gives an attacker access to unauthorized information; or, a SQL injection vulnerability might inadvertently provide full access to a back-end database, allowing an attacker to bypass other security controls.
Application assessments use a variety of tools and techniques to probe software for potential issues. Although a network assessment may detect previously known vulnerabilities in applications, a detailed application assessment can uncover novel problems that would exceed the capabilities of a network check.
This test is also essential for custom applications created by in-house developers, as potential issues with those applications are far more likely to go undetected. Conducting application assessments requires specialized expertise and a nuanced approach, making it critical that organizations retain the services of a skilled application security assessor.