Oct 27 2022

Checklist: 4 Steps for Healthcare Security Leaders to Sleep Better at Night

Managed detection and response services can take pressure off internal security teams while keeping patient data protected.

Healthcare data breaches are down 6 percent year over year in the first half of 2022, according to Critical Insight’s 2022 “Healthcare Breach Report.” However, while total breaches are down, numbers remain above pre-pandemic levels, and attackers seem to be shifting their focus from large healthcare facilities to smaller ones. The report notes that attacks on physician groups increased to make up 12 percent of total breaches in the first half of 2020, up from 2 percent during the same period last year.

Cyberattacks don’t always happen during normal business hours, meaning healthcare organizations need to be prepared to address threats 24/7. With IT staff shortages continuing and cyberattacks persisting, many healthcare security teams are spread thin.

However, managed detection and response services can help. Through MDR, a security vendor detects, analyzes, investigates and responds to threats using the vendor’s technology stack. The partner’s technology and expertise supplement a healthcare organization’s existing security solutions, taking the pressure off internal security team members.

DISCOVER: How MDR services can take alleviate the workload on healthcare cybersecurity teams. 

Here are four steps healthcare security leaders can take to set up an MDR partnership, allowing them to sleep better knowing their organization is protected:

1. Assess the Current State of Your Security Posture and Team

Before searching for a managed detection and response partner, it’s important to assess whether a healthcare organization’s IT or security team could use help from an outside source. Healthcare leaders should determine whether the team has the time and skill to respond to security incidents quickly and effectively. If the organization has faced cyberthreats, how was the team’s reaction and how quickly did it take to realize an active incident was underway?

While the team’s response is important, it’s also critical to ensure that internal processes are in place to respond to attacks and that the organization can restore its data entirely from backups if needed. If any of these areas are lacking, or if the security or IT team is understaffed and burned out, it may be time to consider partnering with an MDR vendor.

Conducting a formal security assessment with a security partner is one way to make these determinations and identify an organization’s current posture.

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2. Understand Your Healthcare Organization’s Security Priorities

Based on the assessment of your security posture and IT staff, healthcare executives should have an idea of the level of support needed. The level of support will vary for each organization, as will the right MDR solution.

Some organizations may only need additional tools to alleviate the workload on internal security staff, while others may require an end-to-end platform. This will depend on the current size, skill and workload of a healthcare organization’s internal security team.

Healthcare leaders should ask themselves these questions to establish which security areas are priorities and where an MDR solution can help fill in security gaps:

  • What is your team’s security skill set?
  • How strong are your organization’s network detection capabilities?
  • Do you have an adequate backup strategy in place?
  • What does your incident response strategy look like?
  • Does your organization engage in regular penetration testing?

3. Identify Your Healthcare Organization’s Desired MDR Outcomes

When determining the desired outcomes of an MDR partnership, healthcare organizations should consider both short- and long-term security goals. Understanding your organization’s future needs will help leadership find a suitable MDR service. One thing to consider is what the organization’s internal security team will look like down the road and the level of service that will be needed in the long term.

As healthcare leaders search for an MDR vendor, they’ll also need to know how much help will be needed, which security components should be outsourced and how this partnership could change over time.

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4. Find the Right MDR Partner for Your Healthcare Organization

During the search for an MDR vendor, it’s important to ensure that the vendor offers visibility, cloud security, zero-trust strategies, identity management, and artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities.

Healthcare organizations can work with a partner to determine whether an MDR solution will interact well with IT and security ecosystems, as well as specific time frames. Healthcare organizations should also consider the vendor’s dashboard and reporting capabilities and what they would want from the vendor in terms of reporting.

Want to learn more? Turn to CDW for an expert security assessment. And bookmark this page to keep up with all of HealthTech’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month coverage, including more on managed detection and response.

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