Despite continuously integrating innovative cybersecurity upgrades and enhancements, the healthcare industry remains a primary target for cyber attacks and data breaches for a myriad of reasons. A medical facility’s technology environment contains employee and provider information, financial data, as well as a full spectrum of highly sensitive patient information, all of which can command top dollar on the black market.

The continued onslaught of cyber attacks has made safeguarding their digital infrastructure a primary focus for healthcare IT departments. Unfortunately, many healthcare organizations struggle with not having enough internal resources to successfully architect and integrate an effective security strategy, leaving their environments highly susceptible to a network security lapse. Even a minor cybersecurity event can have disastrous consequences on a healthcare facility’s reputation, and ultimately their bottom-line. As a result, many medical providers are turning to a virtual information security program to manage their security program needs effectively. 

Companies Can Employ A Virtual Information Security Program To Develop a Robust Security Strategy 

A virtual information security program outsources your internal security needs to a third-party provider who specializes in healthcare network security and compliance.  Typically, a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) serving in a similar role as a full-time CISO would lead the healthcare organization’s security program. A virtual information security program helps solve four significant healthcare IT department deficiencies: time, resources, strategic vision, and money. Implementing a robust virtual security program accelerates response time, revolutionizing cybersecurity efforts in these four mission-critical ways:

Essential Core Competencies

Training internal employees on your network security needs can prove both cost- and time- prohibitive. Your virtual cybersecurity provider will bring a diverse range of experience and expertise to your organization, allowing for an expedited understanding of your specific security program needs. Decreasing initial launch time can prove an invaluable advantage to healthcare organizations that need to safeguard systems as quickly as possible. 

Cost Efficiencies

According to, the average salary for a full-time CISO falls in the range of $195,000 – $247,000. Unfortunately, many healthcare organizations find themselves paying for a full-time CISO despite not having a full-time need for that type of support. A virtual program allows medical facilities to pay only for the hours required to maintain their cybersecurity efforts. Additionally, outsourcing the program means you’ll only pay for services rendered, without having to pay for periphery expenses like benefits. Most importantly, if you find at any point in the engagement that you need more resources, you can easily (and quickly) scale your team using your virtual provider’s bench of qualified and trained data security specialists to avoid recruiting, hiring, and onboarding an internal crew. 

Increased Flexibility and Project Agility

Implementing a virtual security solution for short-term and long-term projects gives your healthcare organization the agility it needs to manage a broad spectrum of needs while still keeping your risk to a minimum. Working with a third-party security provider means you’re not locked into long-term payroll expenses of resource costs. Once the initial project is finished, you have the ability to move to a “maintenance” mode reducing your overall commitment month-to-month to just what ongoing efforts are needed. 

Training and Mentoring Your Internal Team

It’s important to remember that a virtual security program provider does more than merely implement the necessary people, process, and technology system upgrades to your technical environment. Your chosen vendor will also take an active role with your IT department and relevant stakeholders throughout your organization, helping to train and mentor your internal staff members on established workflows, best practices, and protocols to sustain any new efforts and strategies.