Healthcare organizations collect and process a lot of sensitive data, making them a prime target for opportunistic cybercriminals. Managing security in-house is a complex undertaking, which is why many healthcare organizations look to outsource some or all of their security needs. Here are our top three reasons partnering with a managed detection and response (MDR) service provider for healthcare organizations makes sense.
#1: Security Expertise
According to ISACA’s State of Cybersecurity 2021 report, over half of surveyed organizations still have unfilled cybersecurity positions, indicating the cybersecurity skills shortage shows no sign of slowing down. By partnering with an MDR service provider, healthcare organizations can take advantage of expert 24/7 security monitoring, threat detection, alerting, and response services that they need to deal with constant threats like ransomware, without having to build an in-house security operations center (SOC).
Partnering with an MDR service provider for your healthcare organization is a more cost-effective way to have 24/7 monitoring of your networks and continuous access to security professionals. And a provider with extensive healthcare security experience will be able provide recommendations on how to quickly improve your security posture, incorporating practices such as setting up business context modelling, creating segmentation with trusted network zones and controlling access to critical medical devices and infrastructure.
By outsourcing your security monitoring, you don’t have to worry about these staffing challenges; you only have to focus on the actionable alerts sent by your provider and can spend the rest of your time on other priorities.
#2: Advanced Threat Discovery and Response
Due to the sensitivity of healthcare files and the critical nature of their services, cybercriminals use a wide range of techniques, including ransomware, phishing and web application attacks to target healthcare organizations. Compounding the problem is that healthcare organizations have complex IT infrastructures, often with multiple locations, diverse departmental applications and legacy systems, plus patient and physician web portals.
Choosing an MDR service provider for healthcare organizations can provide advanced threat discovery by combining expertise with industry best practices such as the NIST cybersecurity framework to ensure your data is protected.
Threat Detection Use Cases
An MDR service provider for healthcare organizations means you get access to their expansive industry knowledge as well as their already built large library of threat detection use cases. This library typically includes support for a range of security tools and vendors and looks for specific indicators of attack or suspicious behavior to better detect threats. A good security team will send you actionable alerts for any critical threats and provide you with recommended next steps and have more confidence you’re keeping your networks secure.
In addition, an MDR service provider’s use case library is constantly changing, with new content being added to keep up with the ever-evolving threat landscape. Best practices also suggest that outdated content gets removed or updated, to make sure logs are only being run through relevant and useful use cases.
It would be highly challenging for an individual organization, starting from scratch, to build up a matching use case library – and unless there’s a dedicated team working on adding and updating the content, there’s still a high probability of missing new threats. Modern MDR service providers have a team specializing on keeping their fingers on the pulse as new threats constantly emerge.
Many MDR service providers also have a dedicated team for threat hunting, so they can be quick to react to any new threats in the wild. A team that operates globally provides additional benefits as the teams in each region can communicate information about threats local to their environment that may help hunt down new threats before they gain a foothold in another region. This is an added benefit of an MDR service provider for healthcare organizations that wouldn’t be feasible with a small local team.
For example, the local team in Asia may find a healthcare organization in their region is the target of a specific ransomware attack. The team can communicate information about this attack to other regional teams who can proactively, and extensively, search their clients’ network for any sign of the same threat.
For quick containment of credible threats, MDR service providers may offer a Security Orchestration and Automated Response (SOAR) solution that provides further protection of your critical assets. Automated response solutions are created to look for high-fidelity threats and can stop attacks before they expose sensitive patient information or bring down critical IT systems, mitigating a potentially devastating data breach.
The MDR service provider continually tunes and refines their rules to make sure they can detect the most relevant threats. Automated actions may include blocking an IP address or a compromised device from outbound communication, forcing a password reset on a compromised account, quarantining a device from your network, or proactively blocking newly detected attackers found in other networks via threat hunting.
For healthcare organizations, ensuring continued compliance with relevant industry regulations like HIPAA creates additional challenges and workload for internal teams. Failure to pass a compliance audit can result in hefty fines and data breaches invariably lead to high legal costs, patient harm, and reputational damage. Research indicates that healthcare organizations incur the highest breach costs of all industries at $499 million per record breach.
A compelling reason to consider an MDR service provider for healthcare is that you can partner with a company that fully understands these specific data protection regulations and requirements. For many, the HIPAA requirements for data storage and paper trails are numerous and ambiguous; partnering with an expert can provide your healthcare organization with best practice guidance and audit preparation for HIPAA compliance so you’re better prepared.
In addition, many MDR service providers for healthcare organizations will also follow industry standard compliance practices, like SOC 2, that demonstrate that they follow strict information security policies and procedures. Partnering with a certified MDR service provider gives you added confidence your data is protected.
Choosing an MDR service provider for healthcare organizations may not be an easy choice for everyone. But in a world of ceaseless attacks, sophisticated threats, and high data breach costs, outsourcing your security monitoring to a dedicated team of professionals who can protect your patient information 24/7 often makes sense. By finding the right partner, you can find a cost-effective security option that will reduce your information security risks and strengthen your cybersecurity posture.