Updating a Healthcare IAM Program? Avoid These 3 Common Mistakes

November 13, 2019
Updating a Healthcare IAM Program? Avoid These 3 Common Mistakes

Updating a Healthcare IAM Program? Avoid These 3 Common Mistakes

Identity and Access Management (IAM) is a key component in securing any healthcare organization's data and systems. Healthcare IAM programs do more than provide user access management across a provider's digital environments, they provide a framework to control, audit, and enforce security at a granular level. A well-executed IAM solution seamlessly merges technologies and supports evolving protocols to maintain regulatory compliance and mitigate risk. 

Most healthcare organizations recognize the importance of implementing IAM tools; however, their IT departments often struggle to mature and optimize their implementations. Based on our experience, here are three common mistakes to avoid when implementing access management.

Mistake 1: Taking a Reactive Approach to Healthcare IAM

Some healthcare IT departments take a reactive security approach, responding to individual events or concerns as they arise. Others invest in resolving a single issue at a time, taking a “whack-a-mole” approach to security. In this case, efforts focus on resolving a specific audit or compliance finding and once the issue is resolved, there is little additional investment. 

“It’s no longer realistic to base security strategy on reactive defense alone. The inevitability of breach puts pressure on organizations to start proactively detecting and neutralizing attack vectors by improving visibility, hunting threats and developing effective measures to combat counter incident response.”

45% Health CISOs Faced Cyberattacks Focused on Destroying Data 

A successful healthcare IAM program begins with developing a roadmap that aligns with company-wide goals to solve real business problems. This proactive approach to cybersecurity not only addresses today's issues but it will help ensure compliance and prevent future breaches.

Mistake 2: Ignoring The Value of Discovery and Assessment

Typically, healthcare IAM teams perform a preliminary evaluation of their existing security processes and technology when upgrading the IAM program. However, many healthcare IT teams simply don't have the tools, bandwidth, and staff needed to perform a thorough discovery and assessment of their existing policies, procedures, and protocols. Taking a deep dive into the IT infrastructure is the only way to get beyond the surface issues and develop a holistic understanding of how to mitigate the long-term risk of a cyber attack. 

Mistake 3: Not Having an IAM Roadmap

There are a number of indicators that are the hallmarks of an unsuccessful security program. One sign is when organizations buy technologies that have overlapping and redundant capabilities, indicating the lack of an overarching security strategy. This reveals that gaps in security capabilities are not fully understood and are addressed in a haphazard manner, if at all. Overall, there is a failure to improve incident response processes and the organization struggles to meet compliance and regulatory requirements.

Healthcare organizations often fail to invest the time to develop a security roadmap when developing a user access management strategy. The lack of a well-defined IAM roadmap has a negative impact on ultimate program performance because the work is not prioritized and resources are not allocated where they are most needed. An IAM roadmap empowers stakeholders to prioritize projects, address the most pressing issues first, and improve security posture while keeping business and technology goals firmly aligned. Most importantly, a detailed roadmap creates an essential foundation that equips CISOs to identify security gaps before they become a major issue for optimized system protection and overall program compliance.

Idenhaus designs and implements customized identity and access management programs for healthcare organizations of every size and scope. Contact us today to learn more. 


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Learn how Identity and Access Management can help secure your organization in our FREE digital book, Reimagining Identity Management: How To Design, Choose And Implement The Right IAM Solution For Your Business.


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