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ITSM Tools and Healthcare: What Role Do They Play?

06/26/2019 by: Jaime Spector


At the end of 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services released a report detailing the five most significant cyber threats to the American healthcare industry and provided strategies on how to mitigate them. The report was a direct result of 2015’s Cybersecurity Act, which established a mechanism for sharing cybersecurity information between the federal government and private entities. This legislation recognized that cybersecurity threats are rampant, and every industry is at risk, including healthcare.

One of the ways the healthcare industry can protect itself from threats as well as IT issues is to monitor systems carefully – read on to learn more. 

What Are Some of the Digital Threats Facing the Healthcare Industry?

We’ll look at two digital threats facing the healthcare industry. 

The first threat comes from hackers and criminals determined to steal information from healthcare organizations. Healthcare organizations make desirable targets, as their systems store a great deal of valuable information such as Social Security numbers and payment details. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that ransomware attacks grew threefold in 2017, with the healthcare field being most affected by that increase. 

“In 2017, organizations spent an average of $11.7 million on cybersecurity costs”

A second threat is problems that lurk within your system that could jeopardize its health. These issues could be caused by interoperability between systems, user error, or legacy technology. Networked medical devices are an example of a new potential landscape for threats; they could fall prey to ransomware or malware attacks just as computers can. 

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How Can You Protect Your Healthcare Organization? 

Forewarned is forearmed. When you are aware of the threats against you, you can better protect yourself. In today’s digital world, that translates to carefully monitoring your systems with ITSM tools for evidence of attacks. 

Healthcare organizations can have dozens (if not more) of disparate systems, but the right ITSM tools allow you to monitor them from end to end. Moreover, you can automate responses based on system changes, performance metrics, and more. ITSM tools will notify you of critical system events and changes so you can quickly take action. 

One in three Americans has had their medical records compromised”

Another aspect of the right ITSM tools is that they’re built for use by more than one IT role. IT change managers, administrators, security analysts, service desk staff, and DevOps managers all have a part to play in keeping systems safe, so there should be monitoring tools for each of them to do their jobs properly. 

The right ITSM tools should also be built to handle today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. As mentioned earlier, networked medical devices represent a new way for hackers to penetrate your systems; ITSM tools must be able to monitor their performance to ensure that they’re not putting your systems or patients at risk. 

“By the end of 2017, over 4.7 million health records had been compromised”

Healthcare organizations can’t afford to put their systems or their patients at risk. The right ITSM tools help them monitor threats and protect themselves.

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