Health industry cybersecurity practices: How to secure your exposed attack surface

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Modern healthcare industry systems incorporate digital technology to deliver high-quality medical care in a timely and efficient manner. In light of modern medical needs, these systems have evolved into massive ecosystems; while necessary, their sheer size and scope have enlarged the attack surface, making it significantly harder to secure and ensure you implement the best health industry cybersecurity practices.

This reality has provided cybercriminals with more avenues for undue entry and represents significant financial loss, resulting in the violation of compliance regulations. 

Cyberattacks have become particularly problematic in recent years because we have seen a significant increase in security breaches due to the pandemic. 

Social engineering cyberattacks, in particular, have increased in frequency during this volatile timeframe, with ransomware and phishing cyberattacks on the rise. Threat actors have proven successful because of their ability to exploit loopholes in security infrastructure. 

To protect the attack surface and ensure that data remains safe and secure today, medical firms need to devise a more effective cybersecurity strategy that accounts for the vast and complex attack surface and protects medical data. 

Fortunately, there are several steps medical institutions can take to create more robust and resilient health industry cybersecurity practices.  

Mitigate supply chains risks

Today, healthcare cybersecurity is at greater risk given the number of organisations working with an expansive supply chain or using third-party IoT devices. In fact, research shows that over 50% of risk arises from having multiple vendors and products accessing your digital ecosystem.

This means that today, reducing the threat of vendor breaches necessitates a powerful third-party risk management (TPRM) programme that helps institutions assess vendor security in a systematic, organised manner and exposes vendors who aren’t following contractual terms and security best practices. 

Moreover, this strategy can boost security in previously neglected areas; for example, most cybersecurity teams only assess vendors after completing the onboarding process. A far-reaching TPRM strategy, however, allows you to assess new vendors thoroughly before onboarding them, allowing your teams to eliminate vendors who fail to meet basic security standards.

Implement real-time monitoring and cyber risk management

Modern healthcare organisations have complex network infrastructures that have rendered traditional monitoring obsolete. 

Nowadays, IT inventories that rely on a “one-and-done” approach to assess network security at a single point in time aren’t just outdated but are highly risky because static security assessment procedures don’t factor in the risk of social engineering and dark web attacks.

Mitigating modern cyberattacks requires sophisticated solutions that can help you monitor your network in real-time and detect anomalies that indicate a cyber breach. This is where attack surface management (ASM) solutions become integral for cybersecurity. 

Using automated technology, ASM platforms continuously monitor internet assets to give you complete visibility into your attack surface, preventing modern cyberattacks like dark-web footprints, leaked credentials, and cybersquatting. 

What’s more, expanding the supply chain requires more sophisticated solutions to monitor third-party vendors in real-time. Vendor risk rating solutions can fulfil this requirement by turning vendor risk management into a more quantitative, data-driven process.

Your cybersecurity team can also assess hundreds of vendors in real-time to determine how secure they might be. In doing so, you can monitor cyber risk across your third parties and secure medical technology ecosystems by analysing your attack surface.

Ultimately, vendor risk rating solutions make it easy to mitigate cyber risk by providing validated, actionable intelligence to empower your technical teams to address areas of risk. 

With healthcare IT systems expanding across locations, platforms, and devices, automating your vendor security processes as a part of health industry cybersecurity practices in this way is crucial for a more resilient approach to modern cyberattacks. 

Enhance healthcare cybersecurity with powerful risk management tools

With cyber breaches rising and cybercriminals adopting more sophisticated attack methods, healthcare organisations have to reconsider their security strategy. 

A security strategy that integrates vendor risk rating solutions and attack surface management platforms seamlessly can expand the scope of your security strategies to help you manage your attack surface. 

Moreover, it allows your cybersecurity team to create a vendor infrastructure that is effective at mitigating various risks.

Today, this approach will keep your data safe, generating several benefits that include stabilising your healthcare operations and ensuring you follow industry regulations and avoid costly fines.