Healthcare organizations within every medical specialty continue to expand, making interoperability a top priority for physicians, providers, and patients.

As healthcare facilities’ IT systems and digital infrastructures grow, interoperability enables seamless care and coverage, both on an individual and community level.

As a result, providers, administrators, and stakeholders find themselves working on a nearly full-time basis to coordinate service across a multitude of healthcare environments on a national scale.

As healthcare organizations continue to increase interoperability, penetration testing yields several significant benefits.

Increasing security of healthcare IT assets 

Penetration testing, also known as pen-testing, is utilized to identify vulnerabilities and the impact they’d have on the organization if successfully exploited.

Getting disparate IT systems to communicate requires both ends to “speak the same language” over the same mediums, which means even if technology on one end is secure, the lowest common security controls may prevail, for integration purposes, since the alternative is not allowing those systems to communicate.

Vulnerabilities may be introduced by interoperability features that require downgrading standards.

Consistent penetration testing from an outside cybersecurity resource can help provide a critical set of “second eyes,” to identify potential risks as quickly as possible as well as:

Improving security of healthcare technology 

Healthcare IT departments are continuously implementing new technologies to assist with their interoperability objectives. Unfortunately, sometimes recently integrated innovations can cause system gaps and vulnerabilities.

Penetration testing can help identify potential cybersecurity issues with newer systems and platforms before they are implemented into an existing system.

The testing is designed to venture into the potentially scary unknown of new technology to find the bugs that developers miss, helping IT teams save time, money, and resources.

Effective way to assess technical controls

HIPAA Administrative Safeguards mandate that covered entities or business associates must conduct periodic technical and non-technical evaluations. The legislation explicitly requires periodic Risk Analysis as well as routine control testing.

Pen testing delivers a viable way to assess a healthcare organization’s technical controls and help achieve compliance throughout an evolving technology environment.  

Protects patient confidentiality

Protecting patient confidentiality and information is a primary focus in healthcare.

Unfortunately, even a single data breach can destroy your patients’ trust in your organization to keep their personal records safe, resulting in loss of patronage, revenue, and even potential legal action from patients.

Consistent penetration testing can deliver peace of mind to both your leadership and your patients that your organization is doing everything it can to optimize network security, identify exploitable vulnerabilities and remediate findings.

Validates existing processes

Penetration testing can also play a vital role in organizations that have never experienced a data breach.

Pen testing will systematically evaluate your existing process to validate your team’s current cybersecurity approach.

Additionally, performing consistent penetration testing within your facility also provides early notice to your team, and the opportunity for prompt remediation, if a new exploitable vulnerability does arise.

Enhanced training for security staff 

Routine pen testing also delivers real-world training for designated security staff within your healthcare organization.

Every exploited vulnerability revealed during a simulated pen-testing engagement provides an ideal opportunity to evaluate capabilities of existing incidents response plan as well as educate security staff, so they are prepared to proactively detect and preemptively respond to similar future threats.