NIS2 Cybersecurity Rules are Coming: Are You Ready?

NIS2 Cybersecurity Rules Approaching: Is Your Organization Prepared?

The EU NIS cybersecurity regulations are evolving for 2024, and if you’re not currently aware of how they’ll apply to your organization, now is the time to get up to speed with the desired requirements. Not only is the directive being tightened, but an extended range of healthcare and related organizations will be added to the list of ‘critical entities’ that must comply. These include certain medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and organizations that carry out R&D.

The Network and Information Systems (NIS) standards were set up in 2016 to protect essential services – such as water, energy, healthcare, transport, and digital infrastructure – from online cyberattacks. The updated legislation, NIS2, will have stricter rules,reporting requirements, and higher penalties for non-compliance.

They will apply to medium-sized and large businesses that operate within one or more EU countries. Those based only in the UK can’t sit back; however, the original NIS regulations will still apply as part of British law. What’s more, a UK version of the rules is coming very soon, and it’s likely that the framework will closely resemble the EU’s.

What will the requirements cover?

There are a number of cyber risk management measures that all organizations that come under the scope of NIS2 will be required to put in place. For instance, they will need to conduct regular security assessments and risk analyses, adopt incident response and handling plans, and appoint a chief information security officer (CISO), among other obligations.

The new directive will streamline and strengthen incident reporting requirements. Entities must notify regulators of any incident that has compromised data or had a significant impact on the provision of their services, such as causing severe operational disruption or financial loss.

Applying information system security policies and business continuity plans will form part of the obligations, as will conducting cybersecurity testing and training for all staff. The use of multi-factor authentication (MFA) and encryption, wherever appropriate, will also be mandated.

There is plenty of focus within the directive on the cornerstones of cybersecurity best practices particularly, the proper control of administrator-level account credentials, privileged access, and endpoints, all of which are prime targets for attackers.

Under NIS2, organizations are being separated into ‘critical’ and ‘important’ entities. It’s important to determine which category yours’ will fall under, as each has different requirements.

The third-party threat will also be addressed in NIS2 by pulling in managed service providers (MSPs) to the list of ‘critical entities’, with the aim of keeping digital supply chains secure. MSPs are often granted privileged access to clients’ corporate systems and networks, which creates security risks.

What are the consequences of non-compliance?

 

Organizations that come under the regulations’ purview will be subject to random checks, regular security audits, on-site inspections, and off-site supervision.

For those found to be in breach, sanctions could include warnings, temporary suspension of certain activities, and temporary prohibition to exercise certain managerial functions. Financial penalties could be as high as 10 million Euros or 2% of an organization’s global turnover, whichever is higher.

What steps should healthcare organizations take now?

 

Organizations should take action to establish whether the EU or UK NIS2 regulations will apply to them and what their responsibilities will be. Having identified any gaps in existing cybersecurity processes, policies, and practices, they must determine what changes need to be made to address them.

As a priority, they must review their incident response plans and incident management and reporting procedures. It’s also a good idea to begin assessing the security posture of partners and third parties in the supply chain and incorporating relevant security requirements into contracts.

Given the framework’s focus on protecting privileged admin accounts, organizations should implement controls limiting the number of staff members with these robust credentials. Implementing privileged access management (PAM) will allow IT to control who is granted access to which systems, applications, and services, for how long, and what they can do while using them.

Preparing for the introduction of the EU NIS2 regulations should be considered more than just a compliance exercise. By meeting the strengthened requirements, healthcare organizations will be building a foundation of resilience that protects them, their customers, and the essential services they provide.

Spotlight

DeKalb Medical

With more than 800 doctors skilled in 55 medical specialties, DeKalb Medical combines cutting-edge technology with compassion to effectively diagnose and treat our patients. A leader in cancer, heart attack treatment and orthopedics, the DeKalb Medical system has been growing with metro-Atlanta’s medical needs for 50 years. The 627-bed not-for-profit health system includes DeKalb Medical at North Decatur (451 beds), DeKalb Medical Long Term Acute Care at Downtown Decatur (76 beds), DeKalb Medical at Hillandale (100 beds) and the DeKalb Medical Physicians Group. Committed to pushing beyond to excel in patient satisfaction and service, our quality is reflected in many clinical excellence awards throughout our three-hospital system. Like us at www.facebook.com/dekalbmedical.

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These patients are identified during health risk assessments or hospital and ER admissions as having unmet mental health needs that require follow up. MVP Health Care, a regional not-for-profit health insurer serving New York and Vermont, is the first to offer Mental Health Connector to its members. "Since the inception of our pilot program with Belong Medical Group, we have witnessed notable improvements in the depression scores of our members who have sought care from our dedicated Mental Health Connector clinicians,” said Dr. Carl Cameron, MVP Health Care’s Chief Medical Officer. “This heartening progress reinforces our belief that collaborative efforts can truly shape a brighter future for those with diverse health care needs. Belong Health and Belong Medical Group stand as trusted partners who share our unwavering dedication to providing high-quality care to a complex population. We value their expertise and their commitment to working hand-in-hand with us, ensuring that our members receive the comprehensive support they need.” Patients enrolled in Mental Health Connector receive treatment from Belong Medical Group's clinicians for up to 90 days. The treatment plan put in place by Belong Medical Group’s psychiatrist or mental health specialist is then transitioned to either the patient's PCP for ongoing management, or to a longitudinal mental health clinician in the community. The goal is to both diagnose and address unmet mental health needs when patients need it most and then to triage the right level of care for the patient long-term once the issues are stabilized. This bridge to longitudinal care not only reduces the cost of care, it improves quality scores. “These programs are essential. We need to meet patients where they are to help them better stick to their care plans during transitional phases,” said Dr. Ramon Jacobs-Shaw, President of Belong Medical Group and Chief Clinical Officer at Belong Health. “Too many people, especially seniors and dually eligible individuals, have needs that are not met by the existing care delivery landscape. Belong Medical Group provides smarter and more targeted services to those patients to make sure their needs are fulfilled, improving outcomes and overall community health.” About Belong Health Belong Health provides a new approach to health insurance by establishing deep partnerships with providers and insurers. This innovative model empowers us to address the unfulfilled requirements of underserved and complex needs populations in a more patient-centric way. Through fully risk-bearing partnerships, Belong Health helps insurers deliver products that provide more collaborative care to the MA and D-SNP population. Belong Health is also an accredited Accountable Care Organization, dedicated to delivering value-based care for Medicare FFS. Our mission is to offer more compassionate, collaborative and smarter healthcare solutions for underserved and complex needs populations.

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