The goal of a cybersecurity in healthcare isn’t to deploy more tools or gather data. It’s to protect patients and their personal health information (PHI).

While cybersecurity teams have an array of options available to combat cyberattacks, the abundance of choices can make it overwhelming to determine the most suitable solution for an organization. The complexity increases when considering integrations and intelligence-sharing between cybersecurity technologies or processes, further complicating decision-making.

While Vulnerability Threat Management (VTM) in healthcare has matured to incorporate many of these solutions, most of these tools need proven processes to be effective, and trained people to contextualize them. 

Three approaches in particular are worth considering, especially for healthcare systems that want to strengthen their vulnerability threat management and cybersecurity program overall. 

Connected Medical Devices (IoMT) 

Connected medical devices, also known as medical IoT or IoMT devices, play a crucial role in healthcare by enhancing patient monitoring, streamlining workflows, and facilitating better coordination among healthcare providers. However, their connectivity introduces cybersecurity risks, making it imperative to prioritize securing these devices and safeguarding data integrity and privacy.

Furthermore, the integration of legacy medical devices into networks can add complexity and increase security risks. Even devices not originally designed for internet connectivity are now being connected, making healthcare environments more vulnerable.

To address these challenges, it is essential to integrate connected medical devices into your vulnerability threat management program. This proactive approach will help your healthcare organization identify and close security gaps within these networks, ensuring a stronger cybersecurity posture.

Dark Web monitoring 

The internet comprises multiple layers, with the Surface Web (4%) being commonly used, the Deep Web (96%) containing unindexed content, and the Dark Web remaining hidden from conventional means. Criminals exploit the Dark Web to profit from stolen personal information, underscoring the importance of monitoring and preventing illicit activities in this hidden realm.

In an article about the Dark Web, an FBI cybersecurity specialist described the Dark Web as “messy, chaotic, full of scammers, dangerous minds, and even killers . . . that’s just for starters”. 

Dark Web monitoring searches for and keeps track of sensitive information found on a portion of the internet not accessible via normal means. 

Incorporating Dark Web intelligence into your VTM program can help healthcare security teams be more proactive in identifying potential threats or leaked data. Teams should establish the priority goal for Dark Web intelligence and build processes to handle scenarios once something is found. It’s important to keep in mind that, while adding Dark Web monitoring to your vulnerability threat management program can be valuable, it requires a higher level of cybersecurity expertise to do it safely.

*Note: Fortified doesn’t recommend engaging in Dark Web research activities without proper training and technology safeguards as it can expose individuals or organizations to direct peril (cybersecurity, personal, physical, mental).

Plan, document, practice 

This may sound simple, but all the preparation, technology implementation, and hard work can be for not if the team doesn’t know or follow the process during an incident. Know where your current assets and risks reside.

Individually, each approach can be powerful, but they should all be layered together when it comes to maturing your VTM program.  At the end of the day, effective cybersecurity in healthcare is all about people, processes, and technology working together.

To learn more about how to best implement VTM in your healthcare environment, check out our on-demand webinar, Attack Surface Management with VTM.