Have you ever known of someone who experienced a theft of personal property? Not only was the person left with such lingering thoughts like, “What could I have done to prevent this from happening?” but also, he or she is left with the task of recovery—whether it be replacing stolen items or repairing what was damaged in the process. When it comes to cyber-theft, the recovery process is much more complicated and labor-intensive. For that reason, it is essential for organizations to have a risk management approach that involves putting preventative measures in place to mitigate the risks of possible future threats or attacks.

Though reactive risk management is oftentimes necessary after a cyber-attack, healthcare organizations can better position themselves in advance with a proactive risk management approach. Here’s a look at the differences between the two approaches and reasons proactive risk management is a must.

Reactive Risk Management

Reactive risk management takes place after a cyber-incident has occurred or as a result of issues that are uncovered in an audit. In this case, the incident is reviewed and appropriate steps are put in place to avoid other similar issues happening again. Steps include digital forensics and incident response exercises. Additionally, this process would involve efforts to reduce the likelihood and/or impact the threat or attack could place on an organization’s profits and ongoing operations.

Proactive Risk Management

Proactive risk management recognizes risks before cyber-incidents occur and involves measuring and observing an organization’s threats and current safeguards with creative, intellectual human power and specific boundaries. Organizations that focus on proactive risk management typically rely on information from threat intelligence and managed security, sometimes taking further corrective measures preceding new threats and compliance demands.

Why Proactive Risk Management Is a Must

While we must always be able to react to reduce risks, if your risk management program is only reactive in nature, this can result in many unforeseen costs and setbacks for organizations, as they must spend more time responding to unplanned threats and incidents that prompt incident response, management, and remediation. A proactive risk management approach helps organizations stay ahead of emerging threats and trends by effectively making sure all systems and security patches are up to date and that technical controls are working properly.

Partnering with security and risk experts like LBMC Information Security can move your organization toward a proactive, long-term risk management strategy. BALLAST was created with proactive risk management in mind. If you’re ready to explore how BALLAST can help your healthcare organization, contact us today to learn more or schedule a demo.

Mark Fulford

Mark Fulford

Mark Fulford, CISSP, CISA, ABCP, CRISC, is a Shareholder in the risk services division of LBMC, PC. With nearly 25 years of experience in information security audit and compliance, Mark understands how to translate technical jargon into actionable intelligence. With significant experience in healthcare, his expertise includes assisting companies with Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA & PCI, HITRUST compliance, as well as providing assurance to clients and their stakeholders through SOC 1 and 2 reporting engagements. More recently, his focus has been on helping organizations identify and manage information security risks through both guided and automated risk assessment techniques.