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Practical Advice to Prepare Your Organization For Cyber Threats

When four health information and cyber security professionals agree that it’s not a question of whether, but when a breach will occur at your organization, regardless of your best prevention efforts, it’s a fairly sobering insight.  

This was the consensus during a recent webinar hosted by Forcura, when panelists from different vantage points in the industry stated that today’s security strategies mainly consist of preparations for responding to and minimizing damage inflicted by breaches. 

This approach, while not exactly a cure-all, is nevertheless a proactive and critical course to pursue in health care, where an incident is likely to have serious ripple effects far beyond an organization’s bottom line: In a recent study commissioned by The Censinet RiskOps Network, results from hundreds of providers surveyed reveal that data breaches not only cost providers money and compromise sensitive patient information, but likely create disruptions in care that influence higher mortality rates, especially since the pandemic began.  

During the webinar, a panel consisting of security directors from smaller and larger post-acute care agencies, the head of an information security services company, and Forcura’s chief information security officer (CISO) shared advice on how healthcare businesses can fortify themselves in the constant battle against cyber threats. Some of their tips and more are included in the following toolkit: 
 

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One way in which health providers have been vulnerable in recent years has been through their third-party vendors, which often have access to their clients’ sensitive information and may not have remained diligent in their own security measures. The panelists agreed that before organizations select any third-party vendor, part of the vetting process should include rigorous scrutiny of their security practices. 
 

“Don’t be afraid to ask them the tough questions,” said Ian Bush, President of Quadrant Information Security, which acts as a third-party vendor to most companies.  

Forcura’s CISO Eric VanTassel added, “We [experience this] from both sides; we are a third-party vendor and we partner with third parties … we have a responsibility to ensure that they take the necessary preventative measures to protect data and systems that Forcura entrusts in them.” 

Forcura’s efforts to remain vigilant and proactive, meanwhile, were praised by Russ Abercrombie, Chief Information Officer of Heart to Heart Hospice, who said he has been impressed with the partnership the two companies have forged to prevent a third-party infiltration. 

“Forcura goes through rigorous tests to make sure our information is safe. … It was a document-management system at first to us, but it actually turns out to be a security system, too.” 

Other topics of discussion included: 

  • How to build and maintain your cyber security on a budget, 
  • How to gain buy-in from executives to optimize a program, 
  • How you might compare a boutique security vendor to a larger one, and 
  • How you can best prepare your colleagues and leaders for a security breach.  

To learn more valuable information about fortifying your organization’s cyber security with proactive strategies, watch the webinar on-demand today. 

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