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Cerner and Fortified Health Security join forces to protect health systems from cyber risks



Published on 4/15/2020

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

Key takeaways:

  • A managed security service provider (MSSP) can help health care systems tackle the challenges of protecting patients, clinical outcomes and financial resources from cybersecurity threats.
  • Cerner is joining forces with Fortified Health Security to provide comprehensive, managed security services to health care organizations, regardless of their electronic health platform.
  • With a MSSP, health systems can use their existing technology and simply customize the services to fit their organization’s needs and budget.
  • MSSPs are an important part of a provider’s security arsenal during standard operating times and in periods of higher risk, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stolen data, canceled medical procedures and ransomware are scenarios that are all too common as the rate of cybersecurity breaches continue to increase and cause massive disruptions at health systems around the world. The current COVID-19 pandemic adds an increasing layer of uncertainty to the already volatile cybersecurity landscape. Cyberattacks, including phishing scams and spam, have spiked during the outbreak as cyber criminals leverage the chaos to exploit fears and further their agenda.

The most recent HIMSS Cybersecurity Survey shows that 82% of hospital tech experts reported a “significant security incident” last year. In addition to the patient safety risks and data breaches, which cost the health care industry $4 billion in 2019, organizations also reported productivity losses, reputational damage, operational interruptions and negative patient experiences.

With more health care organizations asking staff to work remotely given the excruciating circumstances of COVID-19, the sudden and sizeable number of employees collaborating virtually only increases an organization’s vulnerability to online threats.

But there’s more to an effective health care cybersecurity program than just preventing a cyberattack. Challenges such as executing security fundamentals, training and retaining talent, and purchasing/managing the right technologies apply to security programs as a whole. While health care organizations may be busy handling the new normal of remote workers, telehealth, and COVID-19 ransomware, it’s more important now than ever to ensure your cybersecurity program is equipped to deal with threats from various sources.

Cerner believes in Fortified Health Security’s goal to strengthen the cybersecurity posture of health care organizations over time and has joined forces to provide comprehensive, managed security services to health care organizations. As an industry leading managed security service provider (MSSP), Fortified’s recognized expertise and dedication to health care cybersecurity builds upon Cerner’s capabilities to bring the right level of people, processes and technology to deter cyberattacks and data breaches ─ providing a tool designed to reduce a health system’s overall cybersecurity risks.

These are some of the ways Cerner and Fortified help providers meet their security challenges head on:

  • Less burden on hospital staff to implement and monitor established cybersecurity practices
  • Proactive identification and management of sensitive information across the network
  • Tools to monitor key compliance regulations like the HIPAA Security Rule, PCI-DSS, Joint Commission accreditation surveys and state privacy laws

Additionally, through this collaboration providers can choose from the following core components:

  • Ongoing risk assessment and mitigation
  • Vulnerability threat management
  • 24/7 security operations center and event monitoring
  • System penetration testing for a clear picture of the strengths and weaknesses in systems, networks and IT infrastructure
  • Phishing and security awareness training
  • Security program development advisory services

Health care cybersecurity is too important to stop, especially amid a global health pandemic. Protecting patient data and, more importantly, patient safety, from the increasing rates of cybersecurity attacks is critical for every provider. A comprehensive risk-based cybersecurity program can help keep organizations ahead of the threats and focused on delivering uninterrupted care.

Fortified Health Security brings skilled specialists, efficient processes and advanced technology to hospitals and health systems so they can prepare, mitigate and respond to cyberattacks. Learn more here.

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