Three Ways to Improve Healthcare Employee Cybersecurity Compliance

Each week, the healthcare industry braces for yet another cybersecurity breach, putting both healthcare organizations and their patients at risk. While hospitals arm themselves with internal security protocols, those steps require continual understanding and practice from facility employees. To help with training and retention, see three ways to improve healthcare employee cybersecurity compliance.

  1. Demonstrate personal impact – Show employees across all departments how cyber threats may impact their lives and daily workflow. Reiterate that each and every staff member – whether full-time, part-time or temporary staff – from the top down abides by the same cybersecurity policies and can hurt the organization as a whole with just one wrong click. Make it personal. Not just patient information is at risk. Organizations run the potential of exposing employment information and bank account details. In their individual browsing, employees may further expose their addresses, credit cards, system login credentials or contact lists.
  2. Create clear dialogue – Sending out an annual cybersecurity notice is nowhere near enough. Don't set policy and forget it. Explain cybersecurity implications during procedural rollouts or system updates, giving example scenarios and terminology clarification. Provide easily accessible, comprehendible cybersecurity Q & A and policy documentation with visuals. Employees are more accepting of security changes when they are openly communicated depicting the value and reasons.
  3. Practice, practice, practice – Malicious threats are constantly evolving. Is your staff ready? Gamify employee education to make it engaging and applicable. Run faux malicious email link, sender, form and content tests with employees to see if they recognize and report suspicious activity. Phishing attack simulations are impactful opportunities to test employee response and security education retention. Create a culture of constant learning with a combination of content – email, handout, bulletin board, video, webinar and in-person education. When setting training sessions, allow multiple session options at differing times to cater to differing schedules.

When applying these three recommendations, remember that defense starts with facility culture. Employee cybersecurity practices should move beyond compliance to organizational proactiveness for long-term success in the evolving industry.

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