How CynergisTek’s Continuous Risk Monitoring Program Is Helping Address Cybersecurity Challenges

Community and rural hospitals are facing a cybersecurity crisis. Many of these smaller hospitals cannot afford to keep their IT departments fully staffed and up to date with the cybersecurity expertise, and tools required to stay ahead of threats. Bad actors are aware of this and specifically target these organizations. Even those that do have an in-house IT team are struggling to attract and retain skilled cybersecurity talent who remain current with cybersecurity best practices and help prevent unnecessary risk from entering their systems. 

What are the cybersecurity and cyber insurance issues faced by small, rural hospitals? 

Due to the nature of their operations, community-based, rural hospitals are left vulnerable to cyberattacks. These critical access facilities are frequently located in remote areas and can be hours away from additional medical assistance. Because these hospitals provide essential services such as trauma care and emergency services around the clock, any downtime caused by a cyberattack will have an immediate impact on patient care, and patient safety. As a result, cybersecurity is increasingly becoming more challenging to manage effectively. In addition to the human capital issue, another issue that is seen for many of these smaller facilities is both the lack of funding for purchasing and deploying security solutions, and the lack of skilled personnel to help respond to threats. Adding to this are significant changes to Cyber Insurance coverage. Many cyber insurance companies have moved away from covering Healthcare organizations, and those that are still providing coverage have implemented new requirements and conditions of coverage. Some of these include Multi-Factor Authentication, Endpoint Detection and Response, Incident Response, and access management. Even with these new requirements, insurance premiums have been rising exponentially. This makes it difficult for smaller facilities to meet standard underwriting requirements, and as a result, may no longer qualify for coverage.  

What is CynergisTek’s Continuous Risk Monitoring Program and how does this suite of solutions meet the critical need? 

The Continuous Risk Monitoring Program is a customizable bundle of world-class cybersecurity technology solutions and services that help organizations identify and prioritize risks, keep up with the latest best practices, maintain compliance standards, manage privileged access (including Multi-Factor Authentication, protect enterprise networks from advanced threats and attacks, and more. 

The program addresses all the key cyber insurance requirements too, including Multi-Factor Authentication, Endpoint Protection, threat alerting & monitoring, advanced analytics, IoT security assessment, and testing, and Privileged Access Management tools like Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics and Ransomware Readiness assessments. The Continuous Risk Monitoring Program helps companies, community-based, and rural hospitals meet cyber insurance requirements while reducing premium costs by identifying which technologies are in place to help detect attacks faster – before they cause damage or result in lost revenue. It also assists organizations in adhering to industry standards for security controls so they can lower their risk profile overall – which could mean saving time and/or money on audits or satisfying audits faster than ever before.  

Why is it beneficial for small/rural hospitals? 

The Continuous Risk Monitoring Program is an essential part of a comprehensive cyber-security strategy and can help reduce the risk and impact of cyber-attacks and data breaches while also reducing reputational damage and compliance violations. 

This service offering provides these capabilities with an affordable pricing model that can be scaled to the size of the organization, offers predictable long-term total cost of ownership, and provides small rural hospitals with access to the same levels of protection seen in large enterprises. 

However, this program isn't just limited to small organizations. Smaller entities can look at this as an opportunity to outsource security and have a partner do the heavy lifting for them. Larger organizations have 30-40% of the IT positions open and can't fill them; this is when they need external partners to do the job.  

Conclusion 

Small, rural hospitals face several security issues. They need to offer their patients the same level of care as larger medical centers, but often have less staff and limited budgets for technology and training. These concerns are particularly important because they can result in significant financial losses in addition to reputational damage. The Continuous Risk Monitoring Program provides a solution by identifying risks early and helping hospitals mitigate them before they become more costly problems later. 

About the Author

CynergisTek, Inc.

CynergisTek is a top-ranked cybersecurity consulting firm dedicated to serving the information assurance needs of healthcare. CynergisTek offers specialized services and solutions to help organizations achieve privacy, security, and compliance goals. The company has been recognized by KLAS in the 2016 and 2018 Cybersecurity reports as a top performing firm in healthcare cybersecurity, as well as the 2017 Best in KLAS winner for Cybersecurity Advisory Services.

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