The Escalating Demand for Continuous Monitoring in Healthcare

Best Practices

As the technology we use to conduct business continues to advance, so too does the frequency and sophistication of attacks on our configuration management systems. The threat landscape is changing, and throughout the coronavirus pandemic, bad actors have been targeting healthcare industries more than ever.

As of March, hospitals were seeing a 150% increase in cyber attacks. And, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center reported online crimes “have roughly quadrupled since the coronavirus pandemic.” With the CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) urging providers to remain CM-6 compliant, organizations must ensure they’re doing everything they can to protect against a data breach.

While the importance of CM-6 compliance is obvious, running an audit can be incredibly costly and inefficient. It is common for organizations to have an arduous CM-6 compliance process in place. Manual processes, such as tracking with Excel, SharePoint or email, are neither scalable nor efficient. Such outdated methods are unable to provide clear visibility or a real-time view of your vulnerabilities. Therefore, they offer little insight into the risks those vulnerabilities present.

For example, the average time it took to identify a breach in 2019 was 206 days, and the average time to contain a breach was 73 days.

Furthermore, current processes often involve taking large teams of staff out of their daily roles each quarter or ahead of audits to gather information and create reports, which often present problematic audit findings.

Maturing your configuration management process will result in:

A More Efficient, Scalable Solution

  • Instead of trying to manage millions of configuration items across multiple devices through spreadsheets, an automated system leveraging a relational database will handle and filter the items.

Minimized Risk of Vulnerabilities

  • Ensuring the right controls are in place to prevent a vulnerability from being exploited into a breach.
  • Automated configuration management will help filter prioritized items, allowing you to remediate top priorities quickly. For example, you can filter out what has failed and address the issue before it impacts your organization.

Visibility

  • Automation and reporting help to contextualize the threat landscape so you can prioritize your remediation efforts and communicate those risks to executives.
  • Executives want to know their digital environment is safe. Leveraging automation and reporting in the solution helps to contextualize the threat landscape (as it relates to security configuration management) to ensure you have prioritized your remediation efforts and communicated them accordingly.

Minimizing the Need for Escalation

  • With automation and filtering, you can remediate the issue before it needs to be escalated to management.
  • Furthermore, automating the compliance of security configuration management in a solution can help manage internal Service Level Agreements while minimizing the costly need for approval escalation (due to SLAs not being met).

Find out more about how we worked with a CMS partner health insurance organization to mature their CM-6 program.

Now, once you achieve CM-6 compliance, how do you know your organization is safe between audits? After all, non-compliance could be as simple as an employee changing a firewall setting.

Once CM-6 compliant, you can work towards a more mature model of continuous compliance by enabling continuous monitoring. Implementing such a model will further benefit your organization through:

Operational efficiencies

  • Individuals who are typically taken out of their core responsibilities to perform an audit can instead focus on critical activities that will contribute to continuing to secure the business or help with business growth.

Significantly reduce the need for and cost of an audit.

  • Audits are resource-heavy and often costly if bringing in consultants.

Gain executive trust in data.

  • Continuous monitoring and an automated system eliminate human error.

As a Medicare or Medicaid provider, your clients have entrusted you with their most private and personal information. Partnering with Iceberg Networks to implement continuous compliance monitoring will lower operational costs, increase efficiency, protect your organization from the reputational damage of a breach and safeguard your clients’ personal information, instilling the confidence that your organization will remain compliant all year long.

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