How a Continuous SOC Can Help Healthcare Facilities Avoid Data Loss

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As healthcare organizations focus on patient care and essential daily functions, cybersecurity may not be prioritized appropriately. However, a strong cybersecurity program is vital to maintaining patient care and day-to-day operations. Failing to implement effective security measures could put your organization at risk.. 

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 patient care. 

What to Know About a Healthcare Security Operations Center

Features of a Healthcare Security Operations Center

Organizations face constant threats from cybercriminals, and these threats are becoming more prevalent each year. For example, data breaches cost U.S. healthcare organizations an average of $9.23 million in 2021. The jump represents a 30% increase roughly from the year prior. 

As cybercriminals become more sophisticated in their techniques, healthcare organizations need to upgrade their defenses. Fortunately, a fine-tuned healthcare security operations center (SOC) can help. 

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, cloud hosted applications and other things 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 (IoT/IoMT) 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 device in your organization’s network, ensuring that each is fitted with proper security controls and is following the organization’s standards. 
  • User Awareness, Education, & 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 will learn to spot and report phishing emails and contribute to the organization’s cybersecurity posture.
  • Endpoint Detection and Response Tools: Effective EDR 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. 

Remember: An experienced cybersecurity firm can customize a SOC that fits your organization’s specific security needs. In order for all the tools, processes, and people to work together, 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 just some of the benefits you can expect.

  • Network Visibility: Healthcare organizations are large, and their networks are vast and often complicated. 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 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 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 employee training is key. Services like managed phishing can help your employees play an active role in cybersecurity. In addition, by opting for a SOC within your organization, your team boosts your organization’s cybersecurity maturity at every level. 

Through guided remediation and threat monitoring, a SOC will transform your organization’s cybersecurity strategy for the better. As a result, Healthcare organizations of all sizes and scopes can take advantage of expert monitoring, ongoing risk management, and employee education while prioritizing patient care. 

Are you interested in a healthcare security operations center for your organization? Based in Franklin, TN, the cybersecurity experts at Fortified Health Security are proud to offer SOC among our suite of security services. We provide security information and event management, data loss prevention, connected medical device security programs, user awareness, education, and managed phishing without our SOC framework. Contact us today to get started.