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Beyond Checkboxes: 6 Cloud Security Measures All Healthcare Organizations Should Take

by Palen Schwab Jan 28, 2016 2:23:47 PM

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In today’s volatile threat environment, it has become a board-level necessity to find ways to minimize the exposure, liability and risk to personal health information (PHI). One of the best ways to do this is to ensure you are meeting all relevant compliance obligations and requirements. However, most companies simply tick the checkboxes and move on, putting security aside until the next big audit or threat comes along. With today’s threat landscape evolving as you read these very words, this is no longer enough.

Proactive healthcare organizations — from providers to insurance companies —  are quickly realizing that they must do much more to protect themselves. To meet today’s compliance requirements, organizations need to put in place:

  • Continuous security monitoring
  • Behavioral-based alerting
  • Deep system auditing
  • Powerful forensics capabilities
  • Regular compliance checks
  • Security that scales

Let’s look into how each of these six areas will help your organization exceed compliance regulations, ensuring that you won’t be featured in the next healthcare data loss headline.

1. Become All-Knowing With Continuous Security Monitoring

With today’s new cloud and hybrid environments, attackers are getting smarter and the window of time to catch attacks before they do real damage is diminishing. That means organizations must monitor for and protect against, not only the known threats, but the unknown ones too. Adopting an always-on, always-watching approach to cloud security will flag suspicious user logins, configurations or key file changes in real-time, so teams can take the necessary steps to mitigate potential threats to data systems and the PHI they store

2. Sound the Alarms With Behavioral-Based Alerting 

Without sufficient safeguards in place, data loss is a very real threat for healthcare companies, whether due to bad actors within an organization or external hackers. With behavioral-based alerting, organizations can track and alert on user behavior and activities that are indicators of unauthorized access to PHI so teams can respond immediately, keeping data protected from both insider and external threats.

3. Always Be Recording With Deep System Audit Trails 

If patient data is breached, you’ll need to find out exactly what happened in your network. Audit trails can “rewind the tape” to answer the who, what, where, when and how so teams can make informed decisions on how to respond in the event of a compromise. Audit trails also meet many compliance requirements by providing deep insights to understand the entirety of an attack’s impact.

4. Take Action With Powerful Forensics

The decisions you make are only as good as the intelligence you base them on. Armed with continuous monitoring, alerting and auditing, the facts and context needed  to make intelligent decisions are right at your fingertips. Being able to quickly find the needle in the haystack the moment something goes awry provides a strong arsenal to counter any attack.

5. Meet Compliance Regulations in Rapidly Expanding Cloud Environments

With the speed at which healthcare companies are expanding in the cloud, it’s never been trickier — or more important — to protect important data. To meet HIPAA requirements, organizations must ensure that internal controls and processes are developed and followed to give them visibility into who is accessing and sharing what, where and when in their cloud environments. By selecting a cloud security provider that evolves as quickly as the threat landscape, organizations can ensure they’re continuously upholding their commitment to patients, providers and partners.

6. Simplify and Automate Scaling 

As healthcare companies continue to take advantage of all the benefits the cloud has to offer (scalability, reliability, cost savings), they’re rapidly expanding their presence in the cloud. What starts off as 10 servers quickly becomes 1,000. This is where a cloud-native security monitoring solution comes in handy, as it can auto-scale up or down with the capacity of your infrastructure to ensure you have continuous visibility across your dynamic environment.

Takeaway: Don’t Play Fast and Loose in the Cloud

Healthcare companies can’t afford to play fast and loose with sensitive patient and institutional data, but internal data security teams often only have enough time in the day to focus on managing and responding to threats and limited resources to dedicate to  integrating and maintaining technology. What these teams need is a security application that doesn’t require development resources to deploy, maintain and manage. That’s where Threat Stack comes in. Threat Stack already helps many of today’s most innovative healthcare organizations meet a broad range of HIPAA compliance requirements with ease. Let us help you  keep patient data and systems protected and secure so you can focus on providing value and care.

 

Interested in seeing what Threat Stack can do?

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or Learn More About Our Healthcare Solutions by Downloading our Guide:

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Topics: Cloud Security, healthcare security

Palen Schwab

Written by Palen Schwab

As Director of Marketing, Palen is responsible for Threat Stack's lead generation and branding strategy. With over 10 years marketing experience in business-to-business, high-tech, and security markets, Palen’s customer-centric approach to marketing aims at improving the communication and relationship customers have with their vendors. Prior to Threat Stack, Palen held management positions at Procera Networks, Exinda Networks, and Astaro Internet Security (acquired by Sophos in July 2011) where he specialized in demand generation, corporate communication, and growth hacking.

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