Back to Blog

Beyond Compliance: How to Elevate Your Cybersecurity

The critical intersection of technology and patient data demands unwavering attention in cybersecurity. DAS Health’s cybersecurity experts, Kyle Mynatt and Mike Spurr, and RocketCyber’s Co-Founder, Billy Austin, recently gathered to speak about the challenges, strategies, and best practices that healthcare organizations must embrace to fortify their digital defenses. Join us on this journey as we distill the key takeaways from our Becker’s Healthcare webinar, Beyond Compliance: How to Elevate Your Cybersecurity.

The Evolving Threat Landscape

In the evolving landscape of threats to healthcare organizations, the stakes are higher than ever. Individual breaches are proving to be costly, averaging upwards of $10 million across the country, and few and far between with 93% of healthcare organizations claiming to have experienced a data breach in the past three years.

Fortunately, the majority of cybersecurity incidents in the healthcare sector are preventable and often stem from human errors. In fact, 61% of healthcare data breaches come from negligent employees. Addressing these vulnerabilities requires a multi-faceted approach, with security awareness training and robust policies being paramount.

It’s crucial for organizations to continually reinforce security measures, keeping employees well-versed in potential risks. Human error, such as configuration changes leading to vulnerabilities, remains a prevalent issue that demands attention. As the adage goes, it’s often easier to “hack the human” than breach sophisticated technical barriers like firewalls. Therefore, the importance of ongoing security awareness training cannot be overstated.

Legal and Regulatory Implications

The consequences and driving forces behind cybersecurity efforts in the healthcare sector are multifaceted. Legal and regulatory compliance measures are exerting pressure on organizations, from cybersecurity insurance requirements to health system prerequisites for partnerships. Compliance with these measures is a collective effort to enhance the overall security posture of the community.

The legal and financial implications of cybersecurity incidents are significant. Regulatory bodies, including CMS, can impose penalties, and the level of preparedness will be a crucial factor in determining the severity of repercussions. Adhering to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is not just about ticking boxes; it’s about demonstrating diligence, taking reasonable steps to protect patient data, and promptly addressing security vulnerabilities.

Protecting Patient Data

At the heart of these efforts lies the protection of patient data. The cybersecurity focus extends beyond the organizational level, touching the lives of each patient. Considering the sensitive nature of healthcare information, organizations must approach their cybersecurity strategy with a commitment to safeguarding patient data. It’s not just about avoiding financial and legal consequences; it’s about ensuring uninterrupted access to crucial healthcare information for those who depend on it.

“At the center of all this is the patient data. When I look at a situation where there might be some cybersecurity deficiencies that we’re looking to solve, and I look at that environment, I ask myself, is that my son’s medical records that are vulnerable in this environment?” Said Kyle Mynatt, SVP of Technology Solutions at DAS Health. “We’re all patients, and I want to solve that. I don’t want to be impacted by it, and we have to look at each and every patient out there the same way.”

24/7 Vigilance: SOC Services

To bridge gaps and weaknesses in cybersecurity programs, comprehensive solutions are essential. These solutions must cover the key pillars of cybersecurity: identify, protect, detect, and respond. Recognizing that every organization may have unique needs and constraints, flexible and progressive cybersecurity packages can guide them toward maturity within their budget and size constraints.

One critical aspect that is gaining prominence is the role of Security Operations Center (SOC) services. The question of whether an organization is monitoring its systems with SOC services has become a key factor in insurance requirements and renewals. Continuous monitoring is imperative to identify and respond to potential threats promptly. This is where partnering with a SOC service becomes crucial, offering a unified view of security telemetry and ensuring constant vigilance, even when the organization is not actively watching. This level of proactive monitoring is instrumental in maintaining a robust cybersecurity posture, safeguarding sensitive patient information around the clock.

During the webinar Mike Spurr, VP of Cybersecurity at DAS Health, touched upon the evolution of technology and the proliferation of security layers over the years. As technology advanced, so did the adversaries, leading to attacks that circumvent specific layers of prevention. The result is an increasingly complex landscape for organizations, where a multitude of security technologies generate alarms, alerts, and unique detections.

To counteract these evolving threats, the concept of “defense in depth” becomes crucial. No single technology is 100% foolproof, but by consolidating various security measures, organizations can establish a robust defense mechanism. This defense-in-depth approach involves not only technological solutions like firewalls and antivirus programs but also the integration of human expertise through a 24×7 Security Operations Center (SOC).

Billy Austin, Co-Founder of RocketCyber, introduced the importance of dwell time, the period between an attacker gaining unauthorized access and their detection. The longer an adversary dwells inside the infrastructure, the greater the financial impact. The goal of a SOC is to reduce dwell time, minimizing the potential damage caused during an attack. By providing continuous, 24×7 monitoring, a SOC can swiftly detect and respond to security incidents, preventing catastrophic events and mitigating financial losses.

The significance of real-time intervention, especially in scenarios involving exfiltration of data was emphasized throughout the conversation. With cybercriminals gaining access to sensitive information, time is of the essence. The SOC’s ability to not only detect but also isolate threats in real-time proves instrumental. The interconnectedness of various security events, such as an email compromise or a ransomware attack, requires a comprehensive approach that extends beyond automated solutions.

The evolving threat landscape in the healthcare sector necessitates a multifaceted and proactive approach to cybersecurity. The integration of human expertise, continuous monitoring, and rapid response capabilities are pivotal in mitigating risks and protecting sensitive patient data. As cyber threats continue to advance, healthcare organizations must stay ahead by adopting comprehensive cybersecurity measures tailored to their specific needs and vulnerabilities. For more information on how you can best protect your healthcare organization, schedule a free consultation here.

About the speakers

Kyle Mynatt, Senior Vice President of Technology Solutions at DAS Health

Kyle brings over 20 years of experience in Cybersecurity, Managed Services, PM/EHR solutions and Cloud Hosting. Kyle also brings deep experience in M&A activity having directly managed the technology integration aspects of over 20 transactions in the Healthcare Managed IT and Cybersecurity sector. He is skilled in guiding enterprise organizations through every phase of M&A with a repeatable and scalable process. Prior to Joining DAS Health, Kyle served as a United State Marine and later with the National Security Agency (NSA) as a trained intelligence and cybersecurity leader. Kyle holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of South Florida, providing a deep understanding of human behavior and a unique perspective on how technology can drive better outcomes in the healthcare sector.

Mike Spurr, Vice President of Cybersecurity at DAS Health

Mike relentlessly pursues the mission of protecting DAS Health and its clients from cyber-attacks and malicious actors. He guides the implementation and management of controls for a layered, defense-in-depth approach to protect assets, detect threats, audit, and incident response capability. Mike is an Information Technology and Cybersecurity expert with more than 25 years of experience in the software, healthcare, and manufacturing verticals. The most recent 10 years of his career have been dedicated to the MSP space, culminating in the formation of the dedicated Cybersecurity Team. He started his IT career with United Parcel Service and also led the Systems Engineering team for Amicore, Inc., a company founded by Pfizer, Microsoft, and IBM. In that role, he spearheaded the deployment of technical infrastructure to support the implementation of their tablet pc based EHR.

Billy Austin, Co-Founder of RocketCyber

Billy Austin brings more than 30 years of security expertise to Kaseya, through the acquisition of the RocketCyber SOC where he served as President & Co-founder. Previously, Mr. Austin was the co-founder of iScan Online, acquired by LogicNow / SolarWinds. Prior to both successful startup ventures, Mr. Austin spent over a decade as the Chief Security Officer in the vulnerability management industry. Prior to the latest software startups, he founded the cellular intercept binary system used to detect and decipher conversations for the intelligence community. He is a frequent speaker on the topics of exploits, threats and attacks with a history of developing successful security startup technologies. Mr. Austin holds an Applied Science degree from Mountain View College and was a contributing author to the SANS/FBI Top 10 exploits and vulnerabilities.