Cybersecurity: Not Just For Financial Institutions

by Brad Garland

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For many years, financial institutions have understood the importance of having a strong cybersecurity strategy. As they handle valuable financial information and other sensitive data, these institutions have long been very attractive targets for hackers. As a result, they know they have to work hard to keep their customers’ accounts and data safe. However, it is not only financial institutions that need to be vigilant about cybersecurity.

In today’s digital age, organizations in many other industries also store vast amounts of client data on their networks, which can make them targets for cybercriminals. In recent years, hackers have begun to target healthcare and educational organizations to steal sensitive data, which they can then sell on the black market to make a quick profit. If you work in either of these industries, you need to take action now to protect your organization from becoming the next victim of a cybersecurity attack.

Cybersecurity for Healthcare

Cybersecurity is an important consideration for any healthcare organization. Hospitals, medical clinics, insurance companies and other businesses operating inside the healthcare industry must comply with HIPAA regulations. Introduced in 1996 and updated in 2013, the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act requires all organizations in the healthcare industry to keep patient data safe and private.

To comply with HIPAA, it is not enough to simply avoid intentionally disclosing sensitive patient information; you also need to take steps to keep data secure from any potential network breaches or hacks. This means taking steps to prevent hackers gaining access to networks where patient data is stored. Keeping data secure could also mean using encryption when storing or transmitting patient data to prevent cybercriminals from gaining access to it.

Many healthcare organizations simply do not have the IT skills available in house to ensure the safety of the patient data they store. For this reason, many institutions choose to partner with cybersecurity consulting services, which can assess the current security situation in an organization and recommend solutions to protect against data breaches and hacking.

When you reach out to a cybersecurity consultant service, you gain access to skills and expertise that can help to keep your patient data safe. Security consultants that specialize in working with businesses in the healthcare industry are familiar with HIPAA regulations and can design governance and security solutions that will align your business with HIPAA compliance.

Not complying with HIPAA regulations can lead to fines and other penalties. In addition, if your organization suffers a security breach, you may also suffer a serious reputation hit, which could affect your ability to attract new patients. Therefore, it is important to reach out to a cybersecurity service as soon as possible to ensure your data stays safe.

Cybersecurityfor Education

According to the non-profit organization EDUCAUSE, cybersecurity was the number one concern of IT leaders working in education in 2016. Experts predict that higher education institutions will experience data breaches in the near future, which is why it is so important for all educational organizations to take action now to ensure their sensitive data is secure.

Student data can be just as sensitive as data in other highly protected fields. When they register for educational courses, students provide a lot of sensitive data to the institutions where they are studying, including identity information. Hackers can use this data to steal the identities of students, which can have devastating consequences for the victims.

It is time educational institutions began to recognize student data as just as sensitive as data that is handled in other highly protected fields, such as finance or healthcare. As more educational institutions begin to suffer data breaches, students may start considering which organizations they can trust to keep their data safe when choosing where to study.

The same cybersecurity protocols that help to keep financial and medical data out of the hands of criminals can also help to reduce the risk to students. To reap the benefits of the latest cybersecurity processes and technologies, educational leaders need to reach out to cybersecurity consulting services. Consultants can identify gaps in college and school data and network security environments that can typically leave these organizations open to security breaches. By drawing on their expertise and experience, security consultants can then suggest solutions that can help you stay informed and better plug the holes in the defenses of an organization and thus reduce the risk and impact of a cyberattack.


When people hear the term "cybersecurity," they often think of banks and other big players in the financial industry. However, businesses in other industries are also popular targets for hackers. Whether you work in healthcare, education or another field, you need to take action now to keep your networks safe and protect your data from theft.

To find out more about cybersecurity best practices in the healthcare and education industries, get in touch with Vala Secure today. Our team of cybersecurity experts can work with the IT team in your business or non-profit to develop a comprehensive security solution that works for your organization. Contact us today to learn more and take the first step toward keeping your data safe from cybercrime.