How Healthcare Enterprises Can Deliver Efficient Remediation Across Their Entire Network
Posted on: February 6th, 2024 02:31 pm
Every enterprise healthcare organization understands the importance of cybersecurity, but few have robust processes in place to efficiently remediate vulnerabilities or adapt to future challenges. This puts them at serious risk in 2024.
Security and data breaches impose costs vastly surpassing regulatory fines, with our clients reporting they’ve experienced liabilities from data breaches that are 7 to 10 times higher than HIPAA penalties. This encompasses not just regulatory repercussions but also extends to patient safety risks, incident resolution expenses, legal costs, cyber insurance premiums, reduced patient numbers, and damage to reputation.
To avoid these risks, a sustained, programmatic approach to strategic remediation is the most pragmatic initiative and organizational undertaking.
How can healthcare organizations solve this problem and deliver effective remediation across multiple entities simultaneously?
The following article explains exactly how. Expect to learn:
- How communication and accountability impact remediation
- The five steps taken in every effective remediation plan
- Why culture change is essential to reduce compliance risk and improve overall security posture
4 Key Factors that Produce Successful Enterprise Remediation
Enterprise remediation involves large-scale cooperation. Leaders cannot control every moving part, and instead must delegate responsibility across entities and teams to enable faster action. There must be systems in place to hold individuals accountable and ensure the process is taken seriously and executed properly.
Set clear roles for every person and team involved in the remediation effort. They should know:
- Which tasks they are responsible for and what’s required to complete them
- When they must complete their task(s) and any relevant milestones
- What the penalties (and rewards) will be for failing to meet their targets
The remediation process can be time-consuming and expensive. Enterprises can expect to spend seven figures across their network, which creates challenges for internal teams to unlock the budget. If there is a delay in signing off on purchases for new equipment or upgraded systems or even a lack of available employees, the process will fall behind schedule, and risks may not be resolved fast enough.
From the inception of your remediation plan, it’s critical to get buy-in from all stakeholders and ensure there is a clear budget for the remediation process. This not only ensures resources are available at the right times, but it also ensures that there is a cultural consensus around the importance of cybersecurity risk remediation.
3. Stakeholder Buy-In
Enterprise-wide remediation involves many stakeholders, each with their own needs and perspectives. Any one of them could cause significant disruptions to your process if the urgency of remediation has not been sufficiently conveyed – which is why attaining buy-in is critical.
Address stakeholders directly and explain:
- What the remediation process involves, including the benefits it will bring and how long it will take. This removes uncertainty and helps them trust the process.
- The resources required to implement and optimize the remediation plan, to ensure resources are allocated appropriately with minimal interruption to regular workflows.
- The cost of failing to remediation the issues identified in your cybersecurity risk assessments. This includes financial penalties, reputation damage and loss of patients.
Ultimately, the key is to anticipate and address each stakeholder’s concerns and questions, so that you can prepare authoritative answers and put their minds at ease.
4. Change Management
Remediation is only effective if your employees institute the new systems and policies put in place. As a result, every remediation process is also a change management initiative, and the overall success of your remediation hinges on not only effectively addressing cybersecurity concerns but also enacting a lasting cultural shift.
There are several important actions that will help achieve this:
- Build employee education about new systems and processes into the remediation process. This could involve simply distributing training materials or undertaking workshops or training seminars.
- Maintain regular, transparent communication about how your policies and procedures are likely to change – and when those changes will come into effect
- Provide the means for employees to submit feedback about the process and ask questions about new systems
5 Steps to Plan and Execute an Efficient Remediation Plan
It can take weeks or months to address every weakness in your enterprise’s cybersecurity. The first step to successful remediation is therefore to minimize short-term vulnerability by dealing with the most immediate threats first.
Rank the risks uncovered during your HIPAA SRA and other assessments according to two factors:
- Urgency of the threat
- Difficulty of remediating the threat
While the most urgent risks should be addressed first, also consider prioritizing the most difficult tasks as these are the most likely to be put-off later in the process.
2. Formalized plan
Once you’ve identified your top priorities, you should then use that list to create a detailed remediation plan. This should include:
- Specific roles and responsibilities, with attendant KPIs to create proper incentives and ensure there is clear accountability.
- Measurable milestones for each task to make sure performance and progress can be monitored.
- Timelines for each stage of the process to keep the project on track, enable planning and measure the efficiency of your teams.
Put the plan into action and implement a system for providing real-time updates. This could involve setting a regular cadence for performance reviews, but it could also simply mean providing informal updates whenever there is important news.
The key throughout implementation is purposeful communication: management and executives need to be kept in the loop, but only share information that is useful or relevant.
Once your remediation plan is complete, setup an official review to assess both the effectiveness of the new systems and the efficiency of the remediation process itself. This will not only reduce the risk of oversight, but also help improve the process in the future.
Consider the following questions:
- How effectively did we manage remediation across entities?
- Are there lessons to be learned from the remediation process?
- What could we change about how our remediation plan was created and implemented to make the process more efficient?
5. Proactive Preparation
Enterprise healthcare needs to stay ahead of regulatory changes and new requirements, especially those related to the ever-accelerating role of cybersecurity. While HIPAA has been stagnant for several years, there is good reason to expect changes in the coming years.
Consider setting up an internal team that is responsible for researching upcoming regulatory changes. This will provide insights that can be shared across your network and help you act faster to adjust systems in accordance with the new rules.
3 Common Challenges to Enterprise Remediation
1. Culture Change
Enterprise remediation relies on a widespread acceptance and adoption of new policies and procedures. But creating a cultural consensus and motivating thousands of employees to actively change their daily behavior is a major undertaking.
The ADKAR model is useful here. It provides five steps that are necessary to install lasting cultural change:
- Awareness: Employees must first understand why the change is necessary
- Desire: Then they must actively want to participate in that change
- Knowledge: Next, they must gain knowledge of how to enact change
- Ability: Followed by the skills and habits needed to turn that knowledge into action
- Reinforcement: And rewards and recognition must be provided to ensure the change sticks
Use this framework to plan the culture change aspect of your remediation plan, beginning with education and building towards instilling the right skills – and rewarding employees for their cooperation.
2. Tool Utilization
Many enterprises have powerful tools that could accelerate the remediation process but lack the internal skills or motivation to use them. Not only does this slow the remediation process down, but it also means you are wasting valuable resources.
There are two important factors to avoid this problem:
- Integrate advanced software tools into the remediation process that streamline the process, store vital information and enable automation of repetitive manual process
- Train staff to use them effectively
Much of this comes down to experience. Once employees use a tool like HIPAA One, they almost invariably want to keep using it. They’ve seen first-hand how much quicker and easier it makes the remediation process – and connect the value it offers to their own personal wants and needs.
Every enterprise understands the importance of remediation, but many underestimate the risks associated with slow action. Every large-scale initiative must combat inertia, and across multiple entities there is almost always a problem generating proactivity around what might appear to be relatively insignificant adjustments to existing processes.
The best way to generate urgency is to demonstrate the risks of inaction. HIPAA One helps organizations assess their compliance risk and produce detailed reports that help management and employees understand the task – and then empower them to do something about it.
Drive Urgency and Achieve Faster Remediation with HIPAA One
HIPAA One was created by experts with decades of experience helping healthcare organizations stay compliant – and today is trusted to support, accelerate and improve remediation by over 64,000 providers.
From customized reporting to automated remediation planning and tracking, HIPAA One is the all-in-one tool that helps healthcare enterprises streamline their processes, empower staff and address compliance risk with ease.
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