5 ways to overcome healthcare cybersecurity challenges

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A healthcare organization should never be paralyzed when facing tough cybersecurity challenges, and there are ways to make sure the right tools and solutions are at hand, according to Connie Barrera, chief information security officer at Miami-based Jackson Health System.

The industry has “arrived at a fatal tipping point,” she writes in a post for HealthsystemCIO.com.

“Most enterprises have acquired so many point solutions that we’ve created an insurmountable challenge for those in the security ranks to keep up with," Barrera says. "Without drastic changes, teams will continue to drown in the big data security point solutions generate and will be no better equipped to prevent or mitigate breaches.”

Barrera offers five ways to overcome the challenges:

  1. Know what solutions you have and how they work, and ensure they are functioning properly “to reap maximum benefit.”
  2. Check if there is an overlap of technologies and find ways the tools can be consolidated.
  3. Seek out gaps in your security program and figure out how to close them.
  4. Create “processes surrounding all activities performed by the security team,” and go back to them yearly to make changes.
  5. Be aware of ways you can “automate and re-engineer repetitive and critical practices.”

She also writes about the tools needed to build robust security, such as next-generation firewalls and email encryption, and describes the order in which the tools should be implemented.

“Building your arsenal will take time, money, and the right people to get it implemented," Barrera says. "The time in between is often filled by ambiguity and fear, but this can be avoided."

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