How to Prepare Your Organization to Avoid Vulnerabilities in 2024


Remediating cybersecurity vulnerabilities is not something for your “to-do” list – it is an urgent priority in 2024. 

The average healthcare data breach costs nearly $11 million, and given that figure has steadily risen over the years, it is likely to become even more expensive this year. But fixing current vulnerabilities is not enough.  

Instead, you need to plan how to actively avoid vulnerabilities in the long term – which is exactly what this article helps you do.  

3 Principles for Reducing Long-Term HIPAA Compliance Risks  

1. Cybersecurity is never “one and done”

The number of annual healthcare data breaches has more than doubled since 2018. As technology evolves and cyber criminals develop new tactics, healthcare entities must adapt their cybersecurity measures to secure protected health information (PHI). 

What does that mean in practice? Undertake regular re-evaluations and build protocols to provocatively assess, manage and remediate new cybersecurity vulnerabilities.  

2. Expertise is vital 

Untrained individuals should never be made responsible for the safety of your organization. Healthcare entities need access to expertise to understand and manage their cybersecurity needs.  

What does that mean in practice? Following the HIPAA Security Risk Assessment (SRA) guidelines is not sufficient. Someone in the organization should be designated as the Chief Compliance Officer. If you can’t hire an official Chief Compliance Officer, then someone on the team needs to be assigned to fill the role and take the appropriate training as well as go through all necessary resources. This person needs to actively understand what each risk factor means and know how to remediate vulnerabilities. 

3. Tools should be simple 

Nearly 80% of healthcare organizations rely on more than ten products for cybersecurity. However, this creates unnecessary complexity and can increase the risk that something slips through the cracks. 

What does that mean in practice? Processes should be simplified, streamlined and automated wherever possible, ideally using as few tools as possible. 

3 Common Roadblocks to Cybersecurity Remediation  

1. Resource limitations 

Many healthcare entities simply lack the budget, time and expertise required to properly focus on HIPAA requirements. Individuals are put in charge of remediation while also navigating multiple other roles and responsibilities – which is a recipe for leaving cyber risks unsolved. 

2. Undefined processes 

Effectively remediating cybersecurity vulnerabilities requires a systematic approach, but many healthcare entities do not have one in place – and don’t have the time or expertise to generate one.  

3. Lack of internal expertise

Few healthcare entities feature full-time cybersecurity teams. Worse still, there is a wider problem of available cybersecurity expertise, as the field is currently struggling with a 4 million person talent shortage – which makes accessing expert guidance harder and more expensive. 

5 Steps to Avoid Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities in 2024  

1. Assess your situation 

If you haven’t already in 2023, undertake a detailed Security Risk Assessment (SRA) to understand your current cyber vulnerability and undercover hidden HIPAA risks. While many entities struggle to understand the assessment’s questions and answer them with confidence, HIPAA One provides detailed guidance at every step of the process. 

2. Understand cyber threats

More than 90% of healthcare cybersecurity breaches take the form of phishing attacks, but there are many other potential risks – including risks to protected health information (PHI) – that organizations must proactively prevent. 

Educate yourself in all of these threats and research how you can protect your organizations from them. This will likely require consultation with a cybersecurity expert, which is something HIPAA One will help you with. 

3. Access remediation guidance 

Once you understand where your system is weak and the kind of threats it is vulnerable to, you need a step-by-step plan to remediate risk. But most organizations lack the expertise to generate a robust strategy.  

HIPAA One not only generates a custom remediation plan based on your specific organizational needs – but it also guides you through every step of the process with detailed action plans to make your cyber systems as secure as possible. 

4. Document the process 

A single process of cybersecurity risk remediation will not keep your organization safe indefinitely. Instead, you need to carefully document each step of the process and keep detailed accounts of each action and protocol.  

Not only will this help you with regulatory reporting – it will also give you a reliable reference point for future efforts, so you don’t have to start from scratch every time.  

5. Educate staff 

Human error is a large vulnerability in any cybersecurity system. It is therefore important to train staff on how to handle PHI, how to identify and avoid phishing scams, and what to do if they fear a breach has taken place. 

Streamline, Simplify, and Accelerate Remediation with HIPAA One 

Cybersecurity is a constant headache for most healthcare entities. But with HIPAA One, you have everything you need to assess vulnerabilities, plan remediation and proactively fix your system to ensure HIPAA compliance and wider cybersecurity. 

The all-in-one tool enables smart automation to save time for overworked staff while offering step-by-step guidance and even connecting you with human experts to provide extra depth and confidence. 

Make cybersecurity one less thing to worry about in 2024: get a demo.