Balancing Your Healthcare Cybersecurity & Compliance Efforts

To support your community with life-saving procedures, medical treatments, and other healthcare, you must scale your cybersecurity operations. But it's not always easy. You can expect to face several challenges along the way.

  • Stringent regulations: You need to comply with multiple U.S. state, national, and international regulations for cybersecurity and data management.
  • Attractiveness as a target: Cyber threat actors (CTAs) deliberately target healthcare organizations like yours for the protected health information (PHI) and other data you store.
  • Awareness and skills shortage: Staff members oftentimes lack sufficient security awareness training, with dedicated cybersecurity roles oftentimes going unfilled.
  • Supply chain risks: Modern healthcare organizations depend on third-party vendors, suppliers, and partners that expand their attack surface.

To overcome these challenges, you need to streamline your compliance and cybersecurity efforts. You can do this using security best practices from the Center for Internet Security® (CIS®) that map to or are referenced by other frameworks and standards. Let's discuss more below.

Security Best Practices for Security Compliance

In the regulations with which you must comply, you'll likely notice some overlap in their areas of focus. Fortunately, you can use two groups of CIS security best practices as a starting point to scale your cybersecurity program and realize your compliance objectives. They are the CIS Critical Security Controls® (CIS Controls®) and the CIS Benchmarks.

CIS Controls: A Prioritized Path to Growing Your Cybersecurity Maturity

The CIS Controls are a set of prescriptive, prioritized, and simplified actions that you can use to secure your protected health information (PHI) and other sensitive data. Developed through a unique community consensus process, the CIS Controls tell you not only what to do but in what order to do them using three Implementation Groups (IGs). Your journey begins with laying essential cyber hygiene as a foundation with Implementation Group 1 (IG1). It then extends to scaling your cyber maturity using Implementation Group 2 (IG2) and Implementation Group 3 (IG3). Throughout the entire implementation process, the Controls enable you to strengthen your defenses against a majority of ATT&CK (sub-) techniques associated with malware, ransomware, and other common cyber threats, as revealed in the Community Defense Model v2.0.


Top five attacks 


CIS Benchmarks: Expert Guidance on Hardening Your Operating Systems

Control 4 of the Controls includes general guidance around managing your systems' secure configurations. For recommendations that apply to specific operating systems (OSes), you can turn to the CIS Benchmarks. They consist of consensus-based guidance for hardening OSes you've deployed in your environments. The Benchmarks also help you to build upon the work you began with the Controls; each Benchmark maps to the Controls along with other industry frameworks. 

Want to learn more about the Benchmarks? Check out our video below.



Provided below is a look at the mappings for the Controls and Benchmarks.

Frameworks provided by CIS Controls Mappings


Scaling and Compliance with CIS SecureSuite Membership

Both the Controls and Benchmarks provide an “on-ramp” toward cyber defense against common threats as well as compliance with healthcare frameworks that matter to you. You can enjoy these benefits by implementing the Controls and Benchmarks on you own. But this can consist of manual effort for which you don't have time.

This is where a CIS SecureSuite® Membership can help. It provides you with access to benefits and tools for streamlining your implementation of the Controls and Benchmarks. Taken together, these resources enable you to track your implementation of the Controls, run automated scans of your systems' configurations against the Benchmarks, and automate your implementation of the Benchmarks' security recommendations.

Ready to advance your healthcare cybersecurity?