According to CYE’s first cybersecurity maturity report, the healthcare sector can be put at the bottom of the cybersecurity ladder. Also, notwithstanding the fact that the healthcare sector handles highly sensitive patient data, it still lacks when it comes to ensuring patient privacy protection. The findings are based on data collected from more than 500 organisations in 15 countries over the last two years. The report offered valuable insights into the cybersecurity risks being faced by critical entities, including those in the healthcare sector. In the year 2022, the healthcare sector is reported to have faced the highest number of cyberattacks. The report gave a thumbs up to the financial and energy sectors for scoring high in cybersecurity maturity levels. At the same time, it placed the healthcare, government, and retail sectors at the lowest cybersecurity maturity levels.
Shockingly, the healthcare sector had the second lowest score in identity management security. In the healthcare sector, patients’ data is protected through a mechanism called Identity Access Management (IAM). It allows organisations to deny or grant users’ access rights to manage identity governance. Given that credentials are important to ensure only authorised and verified digital identities receive privileged access, their absence can lead to an increase in cybersecurity risks. Incidentally, the report stated that healthcare, among all sectors, had a weak password policy, and 23 percent of them had a weak authentication mechanism as well.
Guarding against data and network breaches is a critical aspect of attaining cyber maturity. It involves access control, application security, antivirus software, firewalls, network analytics, VPN encryption, and other measures. However, in spite of the significance of this domain, the healthcare sector performed poorly. According to the report, 28 percent of all industries had administrative and sensitive interfaces exposed to the internet, and 24 percent of respondents had outdated firewall rule bases.
Factors Contributing to Low Level of Cybersecurity Maturity
The healthcare sector ranked last in managing sensitive data and information. Here, sensitive data and information, aka personally identifiable information (PII) include information that individuals or entities would want to keep confidential. These may include a passport number, social security number, address, driver’s licence number, photos, email IDs, biometric data, or any other information that can be traced to an individual.
The healthcare sector’s low performance in these matrices is a cause for concern. According to researchers, the factors leading to low cybersecurity maturity in the healthcare sector include weak systems, complex relationships among patients, specialists, insurance companies, and practitioners, among others. CYE researchers found that the United States has one of the lowest levels of cybersecurity maturity, despite making heavy investments in cybersecurity. At the same time, Norway has the best cybersecurity maturity level. The example of the United States shows that high investments in cybersecurity does not always yield a high maturity level. It means organisations can achieve better cybersecurity maturity if they plan and invest wisely.
Invest Wisely to Enhance Cybersecurity Maturity
Big organisations with a large attack surface are more vulnerable to cyberattacks. This has been brought to the fore by respondents from organisations employing 100 or more employees. Around 56 percent of them admitted to being victims of ransomware. The cybersecurity report by CYE should be a wake-up call for organisations (both private and government-owned). The findings echo the cautionary tales of most cybersecurity experts. For instance, Manish Chaudhari, CISO of Cybernetic Global Intelligence, a globally accredited cybersecurity company, is of the view that the cybersecurity preparedness of most companies is far from ideal.
The report made it abundantly clear that budget is not always the constraint in strengthening cybersecurity infrastructure. In fact, organisations can achieve superior cybersecurity maturity if they plan and spend money wisely. So, what else can organisations, especially in the healthcare sector, do to protect their confidential information from falling into the hands of malevolent actors? Let us find out in the below-mentioned segment.
How Do Organisations Achieve a Higher Level of Cybersecurity Maturity?
To ensure the safety of their confidential information, organisations should take various cyber security measures to determine whether their IT infrastructure is vulnerable to cyberattacks. In doing so, they may hire cyber security companies, like Cybernetic Global Intelligence, to detect and mitigate any vulnerabilities. These cybersecurity companies can conduct penetration testing to understand if there are any flaws that cybercriminals could exploit. The process would involve information collation, vulnerability assessment, footprinting, exploitation, documentation, and reporting.
According to Manish Chaudhari, penetration testing is an excellent tool for analysing an organisation’s IT infrastructure. Once vulnerabilities are identified, remediation efforts can be implemented to prevent potential cyberattacks. The benefits of this testing include predicting any emerging security risks, identifying weaknesses in current security practices, and achieving compliance with regulatory standards, among others.
The CYE report highlighted how a large section of the industry, including the healthcare sector, does not have an adequate level of cybersecurity maturity. This inadequacy can lead to cybercriminals attacking the system and stealing sensitive customer and business information. To avoid such an eventuality, organisations should strengthen their cybersecurity infrastructure by hiring the expertise of cybersecurity companies, such as Cybernetic Global Intelligence. They can do so by dialling 1300 292 376 or sending an email to email@example.com.