Mitigating cyber risk in healthcare practices: what you need to know and ask your service provider

Michael-Cheong Michael Choeng
6 March 2023
4 min read

6 March 2023

Healthcare practices store and process vast amounts of sensitive data, including patient health information, billing information, and other confidential data. Unfortunately, this makes them a prime target for cybercriminals seeking to steal this valuable data. Healthcare practices are also subject to strict data privacy regulations, such as the Privacy Act, which require them to take specific measures to protect patient data. For these reasons, it is essential that Healthcare practices work closely with their service providers to manage cyber risk effectively. In this blog post, we will discuss what a practice owner of a Healthcare practice should be asking their service provider on how they are managing risk.

The current threat landscape for healthcare practices

Healthcare practices are increasingly targeted by cybercriminals seeking to steal patient data. Cyberattacks on Healthcare practices are on the rise, and the healthcare industry is now the most targeted industry for cyberattacks, according to the 2021 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report. The report also noted that healthcare organizations are more likely to experience data breaches caused by internal actors, such as employees or contractors.

In addition to external threats, Healthcare practices must also contend with a growing number of data privacy regulations. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in significant fines and damage to the practice's reputation.

Questions to ask your service provider:

As the owner of a Healthcare practice, there are several key questions you should be asking your service provider to ensure that they are effectively managing your cyber risk. These questions include:

  1. What cybersecurity measures do they have in place? Ask your service provider about the specific measures they have in place to protect your practice's data.

  2. Have they conducted a risk assessment? Your service provider should be conducting regular risk assessments and taking steps to mitigate any identified risks.

  3. Do they have an incident response plan? Your service provider should have a plan in place and be able to provide details on how they will respond to a breach.

  4. How do they monitor security threats? Your service provider should be monitoring your practice's systems for security threats, such as malware or unauthorized access attempts.

  5. How do they ensure compliance with regulations? Your service provider should be familiar with the regulations that apply to healthcare practices and have processes in place to ensure compliance.

Healthcare practices face a growing number of cybersecurity threats, and it is essential that they work closely with their service providers to manage their cyber risk effectively. By asking the right questions and gaining visibility into their service provider's cybersecurity measures, risk assessment processes, and incident response plans, healthcare practices can take proactive steps to protect their patient data and comply with data privacy regulations. It is crucial to continue to stay up to date on emerging cybersecurity threats and to regularly assess and update cybersecurity measures to keep pace with the evolving threat landscape.

Findex understands the challenges that healthcare practices face in managing their cyber risk. If you are concerned about your practice's cybersecurity posture, we can help. We offer a range of services, including cybersecurity risk assessments, policy and procedure development, and incident response planning, to help healthcare practices protect their sensitive data and comply with data privacy regulations.

Don't wait until it's too late to act. Contact Findex today to learn more about how we can help your practice manage cyber risk effectively and protect your patients' sensitive data. Our team of experienced cybercrime consultants provide tailored solutions to meet your specific needs and help you achieve your cybersecurity goals. Let us partner with you to secure your practice's future

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the thought or position of Findex (Aust) Pty Ltd.

Author: Michael Choeng | Associate Partner