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A Guide to ISO 27001 for the Healthcare Sector

Keep your patient data safe with information security certification

Healthcare organisations, including medical manufacturers, handle extremely sensitive information that could be detrimental to both your business and your patients if leaked during a breach.

This is why it’s important to gain ISO 27001 in the healthcare sector – by following these standards, your organisation can implement security controls, address risks and threats, and continuously monitor and improve the strength of your overall security system.

In this article, Hicomply explains the importance of ISO 27001 in healthcare.

What is ISO 27001?

Implemented by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), ISO 27001 is the global standard for information security that enables companies to manage sensitive information.

By becoming ISO 27001 certified, your business can set up an ISMS that helps you to regulate policies and procedures that protect your information security. ISO 27001 for healthcare organisations proves to customers, stakeholders, and potential business partners that you are serious about how their data is handled.

ISO 27001 certification will also help your organisation become more resilient against cyber threats, helping you to avoid expensive fines and reputational damage to your business that could be detrimental in the long run.

Why is ISO 27001 important for healthcare companies?

Due to the sensitive nature of the patient data held by healthcare companies, a breach of this information could not only have severe consequences on your organisation’s reputation – it could also significantly affect the individuals involved. Despite this, the data is often sought out by attackers, so healthcare companies must be aware of the following threats:

Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks

Over 95% of data breaches are a result of human error, so attackers are constantly on the lookout for ways to exploit this. Usually in the form of phishing or social engineering, BEC attacks involve a hacker posing as a legitimate professional to trick the user into allowing them access.

Ransomware attacks

Healthcare companies have seen a significant increase in the number of ransomware attacks – where attackers access patient data and hold it hostage, forcing the organisation to pay huge amounts of money to recover it. Due to patient confidentiality, healthcare organisations are seen as the most likely to pay the ransom money – making the sector one of the most targeted in this scenario.

Medical device attacks

As medical technology continues to advance, healthcare organisations have adopted the Internet of Things (IoT), a system that allows medical devices and software to quickly exchange information online. Although this has helped streamline many medical practices, if not managed properly, these devices are easily accessible by hackers who can then exploit the sensitive data they find.

What are the benefits of ISO 27001 in healthcare?

Several benefits come with being an ISO 27001-certified healthcare company. These include:

Your business will have watertight policies and procedures in place.

ISO 27001 certification allows healthcare companies to clearly state their policies and procedures for how they manage customers’ data and any sensitive information. Having the relevant policies in place will help mitigate the risk of a breach.

You can continuously test and improve your security system.

When you gain ISO 27001 compliance as a healthcare company, you can identify and address any weaknesses or errors in your security networks, with regular penetration testing taking place to assess and better the strength of your system.

You will easily identify and prevent security risks.

The ISO 27001 standards will allow your healthcare organisation to identify and mitigate risks and threats with relative ease. After these threats have been identified, your business will be able to formulate strategies to deal with them appropriately.

Your staff will be trained to deal with security threats.

ISO 27001 for healthcare organisations will allow you to ensure your staff is thoroughly trained in security compliance. This includes identifying a risk or potential attack and dealing with it appropriately.

Your organisation can reduce risks within the supply chain.

As well as addressing security risks, ISO 27001 certification will help reduce supply chain risks. Your suppliers will also have to follow the security standards when working with you, decreasing the risks in the process.

ISO 27001 helps your healthcare organisation with legal compliance.

Due to the sensitivity of the information handled, the healthcare sector, including medical device manufacturers, must follow stricter regulations than most other industries. When becoming ISO 27001 compliant, your organisation will simultaneously also follow international laws including GDPR, which has stringent requirements on how health data is handled.

Compliance as you work with Hicomply

If your organisation is looking to pursue ISO 27001 for healthcare companies, we can help. At Hicomply, we know that the process can be arduous, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the certification.

We offer a full-fledged ISMS dashboard that allows you to keep track of all your documentation, allowing you to achieve compliance as you work! Contact us today for a demo.