When’s the last time you performed a vulnerability assessment within your healthcare organization?

This assessment can be a valuable piece to your data protection and cybersecurity strategy. By defining, classifying, analyzing, and treating vulnerabilities within your network and computer systems, you are better able to understand and recognize potential threats to your patient data and react appropriately.

Here’s everything you need to know about conducting a vulnerability assessment in your healthcare organization:

What to Look For in a Vulnerability Assessment

An effective vulnerability assessment can be performed manually or with automation tools. Whichever method you prefer, make sure your process includes the following steps:

Prepare for Assessment

Review any previous assessments to get an idea of past issues. These issues aren’t the only things you should check, but it helps to know about existing vulnerabilities and how they were handled. Having a systematized process can leave you less likely to gloss over key areas that could leave you exposed.

Conduct an Initial Assessment

Recognize your key assets and define the risk level of each device. When determining risk, you should know who has access to each device you’re testing (e.g. a commonly used computer versus a personal device). It’s also helpful to know which devices have open ports, firewalls, and approved software and drivers. Gather as much information as you can about each device and document this it for future reference.

Conduct a Vulnerability Scan

Vulnerability scans can be performed all at once or in segments. If you’re scanning a large number of devices, it might be best to conduct the scan in increments.

There are several types of vulnerability scans:

  • Network scans
  • Host-based scans
  • Wireless network scans
  • Scans of applications
  • Database scans

Each type of scan has its value and you should take care to perform accomplish each type of scan on a regular basis.

Creating a Strategy to Address Findings

Productive vulnerability assessments should also have a follow through strategy to address findings and prevent similar issues from reoccurring. Documenting your findings and the steps you take to eliminate threats after each assessment can help you gauge your progress over time to give you a comprehensive idea of your efforts.

Including details regarding any vulnerabilities you find can help you in both the short and long terms. Storing this information in a central database makes it easily accessible for your team, plus they can contribute to the information over time.

No One is Safe from Cybersecurity

Security threats can affect anyone, even those who diligently pursue cyber protection. healthcare tends to be among the most costly data breaches, which is why routine vulnerability assessment should be ongoing in your organization.

It’s important to remember that ongoing efforts to continue protecting your patients are critical. Roxiticus Health IT is a long-term leading provider of security solutions specifically designed for the sensitive needs of healthcare.  To learn more about how Roxiticus can help you locate, combat, and prevent vulnerabilities in your healthcare network, reach out to us today.