The Future of Healthcare Security: Implementing Zero Trust Cybersecurity Policies

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By CereCore Media Coverage | Jun 14, 2023

2 minute read Technology| CereCore News| IT Advisory

It is a known fact that the healthcare industry is cybersecurity attackers’ target of choice, but how can health systems best protect themselves and their sensitive data from malicious users? Shifting to a Zero Trust environment is a method that can protect organizations from cybersecurity breaches and the costly impacts. Sese Bennett, virtual Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) for CereCore, shared his insights about the Zero Trust approach for user access on the Compliance Perspectives podcast. This blog provides a summary of key takeaways.   

What Is Zero Trust? 

Zero Trust is a security strategy that follows the never trust, always verify method. This approach assumes that every user is an unauthorized user and requires all users to verify their authenticity. It also grants access only to the resources that an individual user is certified to view.  

Benefits of a Zero Trust Approach 

Mitigate Cybersecurity Breaches 

Since Zero Trust assumes that everyone is a cybersecurity attacker, the number of illegitimate users who can gain access to data is minimized. This method not only verifies the credentials of a user, but also analyzes the habits of individuals to prevent bad actors from gaining unauthorized access.  

Better Manage Internal Resources 

With a Zero Trust method, verified users have access only to resources that they are commissioned to access. By providing access to data on an “as needed” basis, organizations can better manage their internal resources. 

Contain the “Blast Zone” 

With these safeguards in place, an organization can mitigate the impact of a cybersecurity breach if an unauthorized user gains access to the network. Limiting the access to internal resources prohibits cybersecurity attackers from being able to pivot to more sensitive data once they are inside the network. 

Protect from Economic Volatility 

Reducing the number of cybersecurity attacks and mitigating the damage by attackers if they gain access can protect the financial future of your organization by preventing costly consequences caused by major data security breaches.  

Traditional Model Versus Zero Trust Model 

Traditional: In a traditional model, users sign on via the internet, provide their login information, and go through a two-step authorization process. Once they are successfully signed in, the user has access to all resources in the network. 

Zero Trust: In a Zero Trust model, users sign on via the internet, then receive a proxy to verify user authenticity. The proxy looks at the traditional habits of the user to help validate the individual. Once signed in, users have access only to a limited scope of resources. 

How to Combat Employee Frustration 

One misconception about the Zero Trust method is that it will make access more difficult for trusted users. However, if it is implemented correctly, users should not experience any disruption. It takes a lot of teamwork behind the scenes, but ultimately a Zero Trust model should be invisible to the end user. 

When considering a Zero Trust model, the first step is to make sure management is on board. Having the support of management will change the culture around cybersecurity practice. To help with successful deployment, build a team of experts including:  

  • Information technology and security experts 
  • Application and server management teams 
  • Third-party vendors and suppliers 

While deploying a Zero Trust model may seem like a heavy lift, it shows patients, customers and partners that protecting the integrity of their data is a priority that you take seriously. As malicious hackers continue to get more creative to gain access, it is better to be over prepared than under prepared. 

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