How healthcare organizations can prepare for a data breach: 7 tips

Data breaches are a growing threat for healthcare companies, with more than 350,000 patient records breached in February, Becker's reported. Here, cybersecurity experts give seven tips to prevent and prepare for a data breach.

Seven suggestions to prevent a data breach:

  1. David Kennedy, former NSA and Marine Corps hacker, told CNBC in a March 8 interview that data breaches are preventable if companies bolster their defenses around detection.

  2. Mr. Kennedy said companies need to constantly evolve and innovate their cybersecurity practices to make sure they're identifying the latest threats.

  3. Kayne McGladrey, a senior member of IEEE and a cybersecurity strategist, told Becker's that organizations can prevent initial unauthorized access by requiring multifactor authentication with unfamiliar IP addresses or devices.

  4. Mr. McGladrey said organizations can detect a data probe early by looking at log file entries. However, he  said logging files are often not configured to represent cybersecurity threats.

  5. Once an initial probe is detected, it needs to be responded to much more quickly. Mr. Kennedy said that Microsoft, in a recent cyberattack that has affected at least 60,000 victims, first discovered the data probe in January but did not have a patch ready until March.

  6. Healthcare organizations should have multiple backups of data, including offline, Mr. McGladrey suggested. This can help if an organization needs to rebuild their servers from scratch.

  7. Incident responses and recovery plans should be updated biannually. Mr. McGladrey said, "Effective incident response plans must cover preparation, detection and analysis, containment, eradication and recovery, and post-incident activity."

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