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What to Know About ISO 27001 Compliance & Risk Assessments for Healthcare Companies

Posted August 7, 2020

In recent years, we have seen a growing number of cyberattacks that successfully disrupted company operations in almost every industry. Repairing the damages left behind has led to enormous expenditures, alongside valuable data loss. The rapidly evolving healthcare technology hasn’t been spared, which has amplified the need for advanced, comprehensive cybersecurity programs.

So, how important is cybersecurity in the healthcare industry exactly?

The Need for Cybersecurity in Healthcare

Entrepreneurs in the healthcare world can’t afford to ignore cybersecurity concerns. Tomorrow could be a day too late; consider what you could do today. Recent findings by IDC research revealed some eye-opening results. The study notes a significant rise in cyber-threat spending, and more healthcare executives report increased successful threats and data losses.

Healthcare facilities are beginning to store more patient information and data through digital methods. As such, there’s a need to keep all this crucial information secure to ensure patient safety. Journals and other essential patient information like lab reports are highly sensitive. Only authorized staff should access and use these resources.

Medical personnel also have to access updated information on time to maintain patient safety and offer the right treatment based on precise data. As such, the IT systems must be in the right condition for data storage and offer ease of access. With an efficient security system in place, you’ll keep both your patients and data safe.

ISO (International Organization of Standardization) is a worldwide body responsible for the collection and management of standards across diverse disciplines and industries. The information management system you choose to implement must attain ISO 27001 compliance for easy identification and mitigation of risks associated with handling vital and sensitive data.

With an ISO-certified management system in place, your healthcare institution can ensure compliance with the relevant federal legislation and universal best practices.

ISO 27001 Risk Assessments & Best Practices

Cybersecurity risk assessment can be a daunting process. But with the right knowledge, and guidance from our team of experts at Greycastle Security, you can implement a successful program. Here are some fundamental best practices for ISO 27001 risk assessments:

Establishing Your Risk Management Structure

The framework comprises the rules that govern strategies such as risk identification and ownership, and their impact on the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of your business data. The right risk assessment approach must address issues like the scale and appetite of the risk, baseline security, and asset- or scenario-based valuation.

Risk Identification

The most time-consuming component of your risk assessment strategy involves identifying any perils that may affect your business data. An asset-based assessment approach is ideal for this process. It requires creating a list of your data resources, including electronic files, hard copies, and intangible assets like intellectual property.

Risk Analysis And Evaluation

This step involves the identification of vulnerabilities and threats applicable to the respective assets. Once done, you can assign the prospect and impact values, based on the risk criteria. Ensure that you weigh all the risks against acceptable risk levels to determine the order in which you’ll address each.

  1. Choose the right threat remedies
  2. Determine the best way to treat the possible risks:
    • Avoiding the risk by eliminating it entirely
    • Modifying it through the appropriate security controls
    • Retaining the risk (provided it doesn’t go beyond the predetermined acceptance level)

ISO 27001 Certification in Healthcare

The increased reliance on digital technology and the internet for almost every organizational function has facilitated more emphasis on technology-related ISO standards in healthcare. HIPAA was established to keep the private medical details of patients safe from any forms of threats.

Acquiring ISO 27001 certified management systems for your company data shows that you are dedicated to protecting every bit of your business data. Your patients will feel comfortable knowing that you have the right protection for their information, whether written on paper, saved on digital platforms, or as staff knowledge. These systems leverage systematic approaches to lower patient risks and show legal compliance.

Here are a few additional reasons why ISO 27001 compliance is important for healthcare organizations:

  • It establishes an active approach as you seek to manage and secure crucial data properly
  • It makes it easier to regulate, manage and handle all the data within the organization in the correct way
  • You can easily identify and mitigate any risks associated with insufficient data handling
  • It ensures compliance with the applicable national and international requirements
  • When you encounter an information security incident, you won’t have to worry about operation continuity
  • Patients, authorities, and stakeholders are assured that all their sensitive information is protected

Reasons for ISO 27001 Risk Assessment

Implementing ISO 27001 offers plenty of benefits to your information security. Contact GreyCastle Security to carry out a proper cybersecurity risk assessment within your health facility in order to:

  • Compliance – This is perhaps the most common reason for conducting an ISO 27001 risk assessment. Complying to IT governance, privacy, and data protection regulations ensures you meet every legal obligation.
  • Marketing edge – The current business environment is competitive; which means you must identify a distinguishing factor separating your facility from competitors. You can use ISO 27001 certification as your unique selling point. This compliance gives you a marketing edge.
  • Reduced expenses – Data security is among the company’s costs from which you should expect no returns. Risk assessments help you track potential problems and formulate the right solutions before they hit. In the end, there will be no disruptions, data leakages, or any other costly threat.
  • Organization – Maybe the most underrated advantage, regular risk assessments help you sort issues like data access, the authority to make crucial decisions, and management of information assets.

Key Takeaway

The past few years have seen a spike in cyberattack cases in the healthcare industry. Despite being a critical challenge that requires top consideration, it can be difficult to make this a top safety issue in health faculties.

Healthcare differs in many ways from other businesses. The main priority here is to enhance and care for patients’ lives. Healthcare organizations could unintentionally affect patients’ wellbeing from making the simple mistake of not paying attention to cyberattack risks.

Greycastle Security specialized in cybersecurity programs for healthcare facilities. Our team of experts is here to help ensure your organization is managing cybersecurity risks successfully, in order to keep you focused on your primary objective of improving patient lives.

Our ISO 27001 compliance and risk assessments are customized to address the needs of healthcare providers. Not only do we offer useful advice and insights, but we also help you stay compliant. We serve a diverse client base, assessing BAs, mental health facilities, HIEs, teaching facilities, HIPAA Covered Entities, and regional medical centers across North America.

Contact us today for a complete ISO 27001 risk assessment for your organization. If you need more guidance concerning the ISO 27001 certification specific to the healthcare industry, be sure to download our Next Generation of Patient Safety White Paper.

Next Generation Patient Safety from an Executive Perspective

Healthcare has experienced many cyberattacks in the last few years. Making this a top safety issue in a healthcare organization is challenging – a challenge that executives must make a top priority.

Unlike any other business, healthcare leaders go to work every day with the knowledge that they have the ability to protect and enhance lives and unintentionally hurt them as well.


Let’s Discuss Your Cybersecurity Needs

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