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Cybersecurity and urgency: How culture impacts an organization’s outcomes

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As we are too aware sometimes: Technology is everywhere, and organizations across nearly every industry rely on it to keep their businesses running smoothly for their users. We’ve seen it rise in banking and retail—and healthcare is no different. As healthcare organizations use technology to manage and make sense of sensitive patient data, there are many nefarious forces that will do everything they can to acquire such data.

It is an unfortunate reality with a cyberattack: It’s not a question of if your organization is going to be attacked, but rather preparing for when your organization is attacked. So, how can a workforce’s collective mindset make a difference when an organization is struck by a cyberattack? From an individual employee to the health IT provider assisting in getting things back on track, it’s all about a perspective of urgency and culture.

We all know healthcare organizations often consist of personnel with highly advanced skills—clinical or financial or administrative. However, with technology’s intersection with healthcare becoming more prevalent every day, it’s essential for organizations to empower their staff members to continue brushing up on their technological skills as well. When an organization is stuck by a cyberattack, that organization’s culture should not be one of pointing fingers and assigning blame, but rather, addressing the problem as urgently as possible and supplying its personnel with resources to help educate them from making a misstep going forward. A collective, prevention-focused mindset will empower an organization’s culture to stop a cyberattack before it happens. For example, if an employee knows how important prevention is, they might update their security features proactively once released, rather than waiting for a later time when it may be more convenient.

People inherently bring vulnerabilities wherever they go. As we say, we’re only human. But that doesn’t mean prevention isn’t possible, and security culture is known to be pervasive when it’s championed every day. I encourage organizational leaders to implement a culture of urgency and importance when it comes to cyberattack prevention; it could save your organization valuable time, revenue and, most importantly, it can protect patient data and keep communities safe.

At Altera, as we’re building and deploying EHRs, we bring our values to the table every day. One of those core values is, “Bad news doesn’t get better with time.” As we live this value, we want to connect it with the organizations we work to serve every day. If we approach cyberattacks through this concept, we recognize that urgency in our shared response is key, as we work to help get your organization back on track. As a cybersecurity professional, bad news, for me, is expected. It’s how we respond that makes the difference, and urgency is key.

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