Three Healthcare Security Investments You Can’t Do Without

It is almost a cliché to point out that no one is 100% protected from cyber attacks, even with an unlimited budget. Cybersecurity challenges evolve incredibly quickly with new vulnerabilities, a new generation of better-funded hackers and an increasing number of zero-day attacks.

The healthcare industry has been especially targeted by the hacker community, given the broad relevance and high value of its associated data. From our experience with thousands of healthcare organisations, we have found three innovative security investments that are distinguishing the most effective cybersecurity programs.

Cognitive technology

With thousands of pages of new threat intelligence being generated every day across the globe, it is literally impossible to keep up with all of the latest cyber-related information and insights.

This is where cognitive technology is an obvious approach. Just as IBM’s Watson Health cognitive technology is driving revolutionary innovations across the spectrum of healthcare services, we are now also providing the same for cybersecurity insights with solutions that use IBM’s Watson for Cyber Security.

Cognitive solutions help you find and stop threats in your network almost as fast as the threat can act. While saving time is an obvious key benefit, there are similarly dramatic benefits in terms of both accuracy and insights.


Healthcare organisations are obviously not exempt from the industry-wide cybersecurity skills shortage, and the need to quickly apply a broadening set of effective risk management controls is challenging even the most mature cyber organisation.

Security-as-a-Service is emerging as the clearest path to addressing these concerns. While most healthcare security officers and CMIOs have numerous concerns with moving to the cloud, experience bluntly shows that the lower costs, speed of deployments and updates, ease of use and far faster return on investment are extremely attractive.

Collaboration, both internal and external

The third innovation is not tied to capital outlays or other expenditures. Instead, it’s about investing proper time and effort into research, communication and collaboration. There is a wealth of healthcare cybersecurity information, on the newest types of threats and what threats other healthcare systems are seeing, found in expert webcasts and from national organisations like CHIME, HIMSS and AEHIS, along with local groups.

What you might not realise is that other healthcare providers or systems often have advice or new ideas for handling cybersecurity, and you can benefit from contacting them directly. Sharing cyber threat intelligence (CTI) and resources can be powerful too, and STIX and TAXII are great independent standards created to share CTI in a consistent language, and transfer that CTI to each other in a simple, scalable way. The collaboration groups and hundreds of shared applications on the IBM X-Force Exchange is just one example of available cybersecurity communities where teams are sharing data and best practices.

The bottom line? When it comes to the cyber world, we are not in competition with each other. The bad guys are out there collaborating all the time on the dark web, and the only way to win is by working together.

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