Small medical practices are increasingly under attack from cybercriminals. In 2022, the healthcare industry was the target of more than 45% of all data breaches. This is due in part to the fact that small medical practices often have limited resources to invest in cybersecurity.
The CIS Critical Security Controls (CIS Controls) are a set of best practices that can help small medical practices improve their cybersecurity posture. The CIS Controls are designed to be easy to implement and scalable, making them a good fit for small businesses.
The CIS Controls are organized into several categories:
- Asset inventory and control
- Inventory and control of software assets
- Data protection
- Secure configuration of enterprise assets and software
- Account management
- Access control management
- Continuous vulnerability management
- Audit log management
- Security awareness and training
- Incident response management
- Penetration testing
By implementing CIS Controls, small medical practices can improve their security posture in a number of ways. For example, the CIS Controls can help to:
- Protect sensitive patient data from unauthorized access
- Prevent malware infections
- Detect and respond to security incidents more quickly
- Comply with industry regulations, such as HIPAA
- Reduce the risk of data breaches
In addition to improving security, the CIS Controls can also help small medical practices improve their efficiency. For example, the CIS Controls can help to:
- Reduce the number of IT support tickets
- Improve employee productivity
- Increase compliance with industry regulations
- Save money on IT costs
Overall, the CIS Controls are a valuable resource for small medical practices that are looking to improve their cybersecurity posture and efficiency. By implementing the CIS Controls, small medical practices can protect their patients' data, reduce their risk of data breaches, and improve their overall efficiency.
Here are some specific examples of how the CIS Controls can benefit small medical practices:
- Control 1: Inventory and Control of Hardware Assets. This control helps to ensure that all hardware assets on the network are properly inventoried and tracked. This can help to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data and systems.
- Control 4: Secure Configuration of Enterprise Assets and Software. This control helps to ensure that all software and hardware assets are configured securely. This can help to protect against known vulnerabilities and attacks.
- Control 5: Account Management. This control helps to ensure that all user accounts are properly managed. This includes using strong passwords, rotating passwords regularly, and disabling unused accounts.
- Control 6: Access Control Management. This control helps to ensure that only authorized users have access to sensitive data and systems. This can be done by using role-based access control (RBAC) and other access control mechanisms.
- Control 8: Audit Log Management. This control helps to ensure that all system logs are properly collected and reviewed. This can help to identify security incidents and track down attackers.
The CIS Controls are a valuable resource for small medical practices that are looking to improve their cybersecurity posture. By implementing the CIS Controls, small medical practices can protect their patients' data, reduce their risk of data breaches, and improve their overall efficiency.
If you are a small medical practice owner, I encourage you to learn more about CIS Controls and how they can benefit your business. You can find more information on the CIS website: https://www.cisecurity.org/controls/.
If you'd like help in implementing or discovering ways to implement CIS Controls, contact us today.