Top 3 Tips for Cybersecurity in Health Care

The last thing you probably worry about when you land in the emergency room is whether or not your data is safe from cyber attacks, but judging by the exponential growth in malicious acts perpetrated by cybercriminals, you probably should. Forty-five million people in American healthcare organizations were affected by cyberattacks in 2021. The cost of these data breaches is growing astronomical in scope, and Cybersecurity Ventures predicts the global healthcare cybersecurity market will grow by 15 percent year-over-year over the next five years, and reach $125 billion cumulatively over a five-year period from 2020 to 2025. 

Besides the disconcerting effects of the security and information being breached, these cyberattacks on healthcare systems can also affect the health and safety of patients. Unfortunately, hospital budgets are characteristically stingy in offering money to protect their bottom line, but without a strong cybersecurity plan in place, the cost in revenue and even human lives will be even higher. 

The Ramifications of Attacks in Healthcare

There are several ways that cyberattacks affect hospitals. First, cybercriminals often steal and sell patient medical and billing information because they can make a quick profit on the darknet. Another big problem for healthcare is ransomware, which is exacerbated in the healthcare realm. Healthcare organizations are often willing to pay the ransom because the cybercriminals have locked down patient care information and critical back-office systems. Finally, there are many medical devices that are connected to the internet that can be susceptible to tampering. 

The problem is bigger than ever. More than 93 percent of healthcare organizations have experienced a data breach over the past three years, and 57 percent have had more than five data breaches during the same time frame.  Woefully inadequate security practices, weak and shared passwords, plus vulnerabilities in code, exposes hospitals to perpetrators intent on hacking treasure troves of patient data.

Combating Cyber Attacks on Healthcare

There are three things that healthcare organizations must prioritize if they are going to prevent this proliferation of cyberattacks. 

Increase Visibility with Consolidation

Although hospitals and health systems might think they are doing the right thing in monitoring their on-premises networks in order to ensure patient safety, what they can’t see CAN hurt them. With more assets to secure, confidence in security goes down and with multiple management consoles obscures visibility. Hospitals must be able to monitor every endpoint, gaining insight into the entire network, which includes remote assets. To this end, our Difenda managed detection and response service with 24/7 endpoint visibility will give hospitals the security they need with a company they can trust. 

Set Up Intelligent Early Warning Systems with Microsoft Security

Whether dealing with critically ill patients, or dealing with security across a healthcare system, time is paramount. And as the old saying goes, the best offense is a good defense. If you want to mitigate cyberattacks or thwart them entirely, you need a well-defended system that is monitored 24/7. The longer a hacker has access to the system, the longer their activities will go unnoticed, and the more damage they can do. Difenda will walk you through the best cybersecurity package for your organization’s needs, and will be with you 24/7/365 to ensure compliance. 

Make Security and Awareness Training Mandatory for all Employees

When it comes to security, every single person needs to be involved and aware, or else cybercriminals can sneak their way in via the one open door. However, according to Osterman research, a full 24% of healthcare workers have not received any security awareness training at their workplace. Because a healthcare organization’s online presence is so vast, there are many places where cyber attacks can occur. 

All employees should be aware of viruses, malware, and ransomware issues, as well as phishing and social engineering problems. Phishing scams account for 90% of cyber attacks. Along with these elements, employees should receive training on how to create safe internet habits, as well as password education and training. Physical security and HIPAA compliance are also of paramount importance. should also be dealt with. Difenda has the bandwidth to train employees so that everyone is aware of security issues and how to circumvent cyberattacks. 

Proactive Preparation

Although no one has a crystal ball to determine when a cybersecurity attack will happen, the trajectory of events is definitely on the rise and this is a good time to tighten up cybersecurity in healthcare organizations. Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that healthcare will suffer 2-3X more cyberattacks in 2021 than the average amount for other industries.

When dealing with life and death information, the situation is both urgent and grave. Healthcare organizations need to do everything in their power to protect themselves and their patients. Upgrading aging infrastructure is paramount, and healthcare organizations would be smart to call in Difenda to make sure their organization’s data is sealed as tightly as possible. 

Protect your patients and organization from cyberthreats. Download your copy of our Microsoft security roadmap template to learn more about our 5 step process.

Our Partners

Penetration Testing Whitepaper

Threat Intelligence

Subscribe to receive insider threat intelligence from Difenda’s front line security analysts in our 24/7/365 SOC.

Ken Perkins

Biography coming soon.

Megan Miller

Megan Miller’s energy and passion for learning flow into all aspects of her work. As the Growth Manager, North America, she brings a background in sciences which she has transitioned to the tech sector in her role at Difenda.

With a Bachelors of Science in Geology, Megan is a lifelong learner who is voracious about learning anything she can get her hands on about cybersecurity. Her positive energy has built a sales strategy with a focus on expanding in the United States while nurturing the Canadian presence. She is responsible for recruiting and training the sales team. Together with the company’s leadership, she creates the sales process and the company’s product strategy in order to better serve the customer base. This ensures that our customers have a highly trained and highly motivated team to help them every step of the way, Megan has completed Microsoft SC-900 training and working towards mastering Microsoft.

Whether at work or play, Megan is fully committed. She took her love of hockey all the way to the semi-professional level as a competitive hockey player. Megan loves all things sports including water skiing, scuba diving, cycling, and snowboarding. She also enjoys time with family and reading about alternative energy, innovation, and cybersecurity.

Natasha Phanor

As the Microsoft Partner Manager at Difenda, Natasha Phanor is responsible for driving growth within our Microsoft Partnership. With six years in the industry, she offers a fresh, energetic approach, and the ability to focus on our customer’s needs throughout the entire process. Natasha has the innate ability to foresee customer needs and solve problems before they arise, which creates a smooth road for each customer she encounters.

As the recipient of the Outstanding Services Partner of the Year Award in 2018, it is clear that Natasha responds quickly to customer needs, creates a platform for understanding a customer’s business requirements, and walks them through the process to ensure their complete satisfaction.

In her spare time, Natasha is as energetic and passionate as she is on the job. A self-proclaimed foodie-extraordinaire, she enjoys dinner parties, traveling, downhill skiing, hiking, biking, and reading. Natasha has a Bachelor of Fine Arts, specializing in Dance, from Ryerson University.

Lisa Templeton

Lisa Templeton is the perfect combination of human empathy and technological prowess. In her role as People Services Manager, she takes care of our team members to support them in their daily work, as well as on their personal life paths. Happy employees make for happy customers, and Lisa excels in giving our employees the tools they need for success in order to become the best possible versions of themselves. Along with employee formation, she shines in the service delivery support domain to continuously improve the process. Her 24 years of experience in IT Operations and Service Management help her create quality and efficiency at Difenda.

Having attended the Information Systems Management certificate program at Ryerson University, and with various other certifications to her credit, Lisa is perceptive and innovative when it comes to information technology, but also sensitive to the needs of her human constituents. Responsible for achieving the first privately owned company HDI Support Center certification in Canada, she has also designed and implemented Service Management excellence programs and 24×7 IT Operations departments for multiple IT organizations, and has created corporate rewards and recognition programs to keep her employees engaged and motivated.

On the personal side, Lisa passionately supports the cause of breast cancer research, having lost her mother to the disease. She reads voraciously in her spare time, and enjoys the art of home renovation. The summer months also bring time on her boat and exploring new hiking trails.

Miranda McCurdy

Miranda McCurdy uses her myriad super powers in all aspects of her job and personal life. As the Marketing Director at Difenda, Miranda McCurdy brings over a decade of experience to the table, which includes expertise in all facets of operations, brand management, and content marketing, as well as a multitude of successful strategies for the ever-expanding digital world. She is an expert at simplifying the message the company is trying to send, filling in gaps in the information, and strengthening the content in order to create compelling narratives that strengthen the brand and developing programs that bring teams together.

With several Addy Awards issued by the American Advertising Federation Cleveland to her credit, and her never say die attitude, Miranda understands both the broader picture and the minute details that are needed to successfully market a product. With her abilities to harness both the talent needed to spread the message, as well as to create the message itself, she is an integral cog in the company’s ability to communicate with customers and other stakeholders.

When she is not building a brand, she shares her ability to fill the gaps in her community by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, the Special Olympics, and the Charleston Food Bank. In her spare time, Miranda spends time with her family, enjoys fitness and health, paddle boarding, reading, and arts and crafts.

Juliana Zaremba

Connections are the name of the game for Juliana Zaremba. As Strategic Partnerships Director, she is responsible for Difenda’s channel partnerships and the development and ownership of the channel partner program. She is also responsible for the global Microsoft Partnership, including the creation of strategic plans with MSFT contacts that will facilitate the continued growth of the business and establish certification and training protocols in all security technologies. Her role is multifaceted, as she acquires partners, manages relationships with them, and develops strategies that will provide cutting edge security solutions to our customer base. Another integral aspect of her job is to facilitate growth.

With a Bachelor’s in Math from the University of Waterloo and 14 years of experience from her previous roles at Herjavec Group and CDW, her cutting edge focus and ability to develop long-lasting relationships and strategies provides world class security solutions to our customer base.

Juliana thrives on connections outside of work as well. She is a philanthropist and contributor with Women4Change based in Hamilton. This group of local women is passionate about supporting local causes, and she focuses her efforts around Women in STEM. She is also a member of Club Italia in Niagara Falls and supports their youth events throughout the year.

When not managing the Microsoft Global partnership, Juliana enjoys reading, often reading several books at once. Juliana enjoys exploring the Niagara Escarpment with her family, as well as sharing meals and experiences with her extended family. Juliana’s competitive nature has her always trying new things, like Whoop band challenges and Peloton.

Jeffry Jacob

Biography Coming Soon