September 26, 2016

The Role of IT Security In Public Safety And Health Care: Part 4 - Potential Fixes

How do government agencies and health care providers tackle the problem of cybersecurity? According to Computer Weekly, this is a task that requires combined effort from public and private organizations. For example, increased transparency on the part of both industry and government departments could allow quicker identification of potential threats along with actionable insight on how to mitigate these issues. This would require some leeway on the part of governments to overlook potential private missteps in compliance or data handling for the greater good of long-term security.

For both health agencies and governments, meanwhile, there's potential in the cloud. Already, the FedRAMP program is vetting secure cloud suppliers to empower government agencies while many health care companies are turning to third-party providers to help manage their security portfolio. Choosing the cloud offers a number of benefits for IT security, for example the ability to scale on demand and meet threats with the necessary bandwidth and performance to respond. Cloud providers also offer the benefit of real-time threat analysis and response, allowing governments to become proactive instead of reactive. It's also possible to leverage hosted security platforms that take the burden off local IT and allow them to focus on local data-management tasks.

Innovating the Future

Catching up with the cloud won't entirely solve the problem of government and health care cybersecurity. Continued success means continual innovation; malware makers certainly aren't sitting on their laurels by actively designing new strains that attack mobile devices and peripheral systems. To manage emerging cyberthreats, health and public service providers must embrace a “will-fail” attitude that focuses on rapid detection and response over the illusion of total perimeter security. Virtual walls are not impenetrable and hackers will, eventually, find their way inside. When that happens, agencies must be ready to detect abnormal behavior, identity new threats, and respond in real-time.

IT security isn't just for private industry; the consequences of undefended government or health agency networks are severe. With an emphasis on effective collaboration and empowered cloud services, however, it's possible to protect critical data in public trust.

Be sure to check out the Presidential Cybersecurity National Action Plan.

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