According to research from the Department of Health and Human Services, the number of healthcare industry data breaches has consistently trended upward over the last 10 years, and the total number of annual breaches tripled between 2018 and 2021. With an increasing focus on digitization across the industry, there are more opportunities than ever for malicious actors to attempt to access sensitive health data.

To fortify their security posture and safeguard patient data, many healthcare companies partner with a Managed Detection and Response (MDR) provider. MDR goes beyond traditional 24/7 monitoring with a suite of tools for threat detection, analysis, investigation, and active response.

For health organizations, data breaches and cyber attacks can have costly consequences — and not just financially. There is strong evidence that leveraging MDR is one of the best ways to protect healthcare networks and devices from threats.

Evolution of MDR in Healthcare Security

Healthcare organizations are frequent targets for malicious actors seeking to access valuable, personal information, including social security numbers and financial details. In the early days of healthcare security, organizations primarily employed traditional security measures, such as firewalls and antivirus software. Although these measures are essential, they fall short of deflecting today’s more complex cyber threats.

As technology evolved and regulatory standards became stricter, healthcare leaders recognized a growing need to implement more sophisticated security measures. MDR entered the scene as a way to shift from static, reactive security to a more dynamic, proactive approach. It gave healthcare organizations an unprecedented real-time view of networks and an increased ability to respond to threats quickly.

MDR has since become even more powerful, evolving in response to new technology and emerging threats. AI allows for more complex data analysis, and automation streamlines processes and enhances efficiency. Modern MDR represents a major improvement compared to traditional security monitoring practices.

Beyond Traditional Monitoring

24/7 monitoring is a foundational cybersecurity practice, but it has a number of limitations — especially in the context of healthcare security. For example:

  • Reactive Approach: Security teams performing 24/7 monitoring must wait for anomalies to appear and alerts to trigger before starting investigations.
  • Narrow Scope: Traditional monitoring systems rely on predefined rules and signatures to detect known threats and are thus ill-suited for combatting novel threats.
  • Outdated: Online adversaries are well-versed in traditional security measures and can penetrate basic firewalls without issue.

In an industry where data is exceptionally private and sensitive, organizations need more advanced security measures. Advanced MDR addresses all of the limitations of traditional monitoring:

  • Proactive Approach: MDR involves proactive threat hunting — actively searching for signs of malicious activity before traditional security measures trigger alerts.
  • Comprehensive Security: Advanced MDR offers a broader set of security practices, including a variety of defensive and offensive tactics.
  • Enhanced Threat Intelligence: MDR leverages sophisticated threat intelligence that includes information about emerging threats and novel attack vectors.

Insights from Richard Weiss’s Experience

Many leaders in the healthcare space are favoring MDR as a key way to address the evolving threat landscape. Richard Weiss, vice president and chief information security officer (CISO) at AccentCare, recognized a need for advanced security measures when he joined the company. AccentCare, a leader in home health, personal care, and hospice services, serves patients in 31 states.

“We have millions of lives that we’re responsible for, and our clients expect us to keep that sensitive data safe and secure,” Weiss said. AccentCare has an in-house security team for day-to-day operations, but Weiss saw that a strategic cybersecurity partner could augment their activities by providing advanced MDR services. CyberMaxx is that partner. The CyberMaxx team ensures AccentCare systems are secure through monitoring, alerting, and proactive investigation.

“We send them logs and a lot of disparate information, and they’re able to correlate all of it, make it consumable and help us be aware of threats, all while keeping us informed of what’s going on in the environment,” Weiss shared.

The relationship between AccentCare and CyberMaxx is a true partnership that works toward strengthening AccentCare’s overall security posture.

Leveraging Advanced MDR Services for Healthcare Security Success

MDR is highly flexible, customizable, and scalable to meet organizational needs. It goes beyond traditional monitoring to proactively seek out and neutralize potential threats using advanced threat intelligence.

Partnerships between MDR providers and healthcare organizations are a pivotal part of keeping patients’ personal information and health data out of the hands of threat actors. Finding the right MDR partner enhances your security resilience and empowers you to reinforce both defensive and offensive security measures.

The bottom line? Advanced, comprehensive MDR practices should be a part of every health organization’s security efforts. To learn more about MaxxMDR from CyberMaxx, schedule a meeting today.