Many healthcare organizations are turning to cybersecurity professionals to maintain a healthcare security operations center (SOC). A continuous SOC will help your healthcare facility minimize or avoid data loss so that you can focus on business-critical functions, like providing patient care. 

What to Know About a Healthcare Security Operations Center

Within a SOC, a team of cybersecurity experts manage and monitor a suite of security solutions to identify and respond to threats. These cybersecurity solutions allow healthcare organizations to constantly monitor and mitigate risk while educating employees on new threats.

While the specific toolset varies based on an organization’s needs, there are a few key technologies that you can expect. These tools include:

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) 

Healthcare enterprises are made up of various technologies that support business needs and patient care. Workstations, servers, network infrastructure, and cloud hosted applications all come together to ensure organizations run smoothly and efficiently.

Storing logs from the many deployed technologies in a central location organization allows access to detailed log information and real-time alerts. A team of trusted cybersecurity professionals should be monitoring these tools and providing actionable remediation guidance.

Connected Medical Device Security

IoMT devices have become critical in providing effective patient care and achieving desired patient outcomes. Healthcare organizations may be putting lives at risk by failing to protect these devices.

A connected medical device and IoT security program assesses existing security practices, identifies security shortcomings, and puts necessary protocols in place to minimize the risk of these devices.

A team of healthcare cybersecurity professionals should start by identifying each IoT/IoMT device in your organization’s network, ensuring that they are fitted with proper security controls and follow the organization’s standards.

Managed Phishing 

Phishing is one of the top methods cybercriminals use to gain access to healthcare networks and data, yet over a third of health IT employees never perform simulated phishing tests. Coupled with a lack of employee training, this risk leaves healthcare organizations vulnerable.

Fortunately, SOC services like managed phishing and employee education can help organizations gain awareness and take this threat seriously. During controlled organized phishing simulation, employees learn to spot and report phishing emails and contribute to the strengthening the organization’s cybersecurity posture.

Endpoint Detection and Response 

Effective Endpoint Detection and Response involves identifying sophisticated attacks, tracking its movement, and remediating security threats. A data loss prevention program within a SOC identifies protected health information (PHI) and personally identifiable information (PII).

Cybersecurity professionals can then track the data on a live dashboard and address security errors quickly. For example, this process might involve identifying ePHI on an unencrypted server and putting stronger security measures in place. 

In order for all the tools, processes, and people to work together, having a team of healthcare cybersecurity professionals leading the way is vital. Through these services, you can identify and control risks to stay ahead of cyberattacks. 

Benefits of a Continuous SOC

A mature SOC can transform your organization’s cybersecurity ecosystem. This set of tools helps your IT team monitor and address security concerns that may otherwise remain hidden. If you’re considering an outsourced SOC for your organization, here are some of the benefits you can expect.

Network Visibility

Healthcare organizations are large, with vast, complicated networks. Without the proper tools and expertise in place, it can be challenging for organizations to monitor each device on the network effectively. When an organization is constantly purchasing third-party products, this can be especially true.

A SOC can address this security concern by recommending improvements for network visibility. Discovery tools and dashboards provide a clear picture of devices on the network, as well as potential threats and vulnerabilities.

Consistent Monitoring

24/7 monitoring isn’t always a realistic task for an in-house IT team. By investing in an outsourced SOC, you’re outsourcing this responsibility to a team of expert cybersecurity professionals.

The SOC should provide a detailed dashboard and set up security alerts that are tuned to your organization, so their team and yours can monitor activity in real-time. This data will prove valuable when assessing your cybersecurity program’s effectiveness.

Faster Incident Response

Consistent network monitoring leads to speedier incident response. A SOC should be able to spot a threat as it occurs, rather than when it starts to cause problems in your network. Rapid response generally correlates to minimized downtime.

TIP: Be sure to work with your SOC provider to develop an incident response plan that matches your organization’s needs.

Ongoing Risk Management 

The cybersecurity professionals running your healthcare SOC are experts in the industry, so they’re aware of the latest cyber threats. As the cyber landscape changes, your SOC can change to keep up.

A continuous SOC helps your healthcare IT team maintain ongoing awareness of cybersecurity best practices and cybercriminal tactics.

Employee Training

Healthcare network security and ongoing compliance is an organization-wide effort, so security awareness training for employees is essential. Services like managed phishing can help your employees play an active role in cybersecurity, strengthening your organization’s cybersecurity maturity at every level. 

For insight into how other health systems have incorporated a continuous SOC into their cybersecurity program, check out our webinar, From Gaps to Growth: USA Health’s Path to Stronger Cybersecurity.