Feb 17 2023

The Importance of Improving Healthcare’s Cyber Resilience

Health systems must be prepared for unexpected events, from natural disasters to pandemic surges and, increasingly, cyberattacks.

Healthcare organizations have always needed to be prepared for unexpected events, from natural disasters to pandemic surges. Increasingly, cyberattacks must factor into their response plans, especially as threats grow more sophisticated and coordinated.

Ninety-six percent of executives across industries consider cyber resilience to be highly important to their businesses, according to a 2022 Cisco report. Nearly two-thirds of respondents said they experienced a security incident that affected their resilience, with a majority happening over the past two years.

As cyberattacks continue to make headlines, organizations should think in terms of when they will be hit, not if. And how can affected organizations keep things running, minimize harm, recover and learn to improve their strategies to avoid a repeat?

Cisco notes that extended detection and response, secure access service edge and mature zero-trust implementations can significantly boost an organization’s resilience. A zero-trust approach can also support efficiency and, when done right, serve as an “accelerator for progressive organizations,” according to a CDW white paper

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How Healthcare Organizations are Building in Resiliency

One of the technology trends HealthTech is highlighting for 2023 is stronger zero-trust security adoption among healthcare organizations. Pittsburgh-based Highmark Health shares its ongoing journey in our feature story “3 Health Tech Trends to Watch in 2023.”

“Don’t worry about the term zero trust. Think about minimum necessary and least privilege, because that’s really what this boils down to,” says Highmark Director of Platform Security Soo Yi.

Health systems of all sizes, including smaller ones serving rural populations, are recognizing the importance of staying prepared. In “How Rural Healthcare Systems Can Strengthen Their Resilience,” southern Maryland’s CalvertHealth migrated its electronic health record recovery site to the cloud, ensuring business continuity should the unexpected happen. “It was a huge win for us, and the driving piece of it was ensuring that we can deliver patient care,” says Melissa Hall, chief nursing officer and vice president of clinical services and former CIO for CalvertHealth.

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Learn from Your Peers

What can you glean about security from other IT pros? Check out new CDW research and insight from our experts.