Top 5 Jobs in Cybersecurity for Healthcare

Innovative and Exciting Career Opportunities Abound in Network Security, Risk Assessment, Medical Device Security and More

July 23, 2020

Looking for a career path that will put you on the cutting edge of technology and give you plenty of job security moving into the future? Then it’s time to consider cybersecurity for healthcare.

The world of cybersecurity for healthcare is expanding every day as technology takes over more and more of daily life. Patient records that were once collected by hand are now entered digitally, instantly added to a network, and synced with insurance information, medical history, and other crucial data. Keeping all that data secure is crucial – not only for HIPAA compliance, but also for patient confidence and improved doctor efficiency. It’s no wonder that the salaries for professionals working in cybersecurity for healthcare start around $55,000 a year and go up to $125,000-$150,000 depending on your experience.

With opportunities that range from innovative – like safely integrating high-tech medical devices and equipment – to exhilarating, like tracking network attacks and leaping into action to stop hackers and ransomware, careers in cybersecurity for the medical industry vary widely. Check out these top five healthcare cybersecurity jobs with long term prospects and unlimited potential.

#1 Network security

Healthcare records are subject to strict privacy laws, which means that all the information collected and kept by doctors, hospitals, insurance providers, and anyone else who provides medical services must be securely protected. Since most healthcare records are managed digitally and stored on networks, the security of healthcare systems and servers is crucial.

A career in network security for healthcare involves all aspects of protecting a network and the information it contains, from creating firewalls to cryptography to intrusion detection and prevention. This aspect of healthcare cybersecurity also may involve “red teams,” which find system vulnerabilities and weak points where networks can be breached by trying to hack into the system and documenting their results and processes so improvements can be made.

#2 Incident responders

While health network security specialists make networks as safe as possible, no network is completely secure – and attacks will happen. Healthcare data is very valuable, so networks are a prime target for hackers or other cybercriminals who may try to steal and sell it. Attackers can also install ransomware or other malicious software, or simply take the network offline.

All these scenarios can be devastating for hospitals, doctors, or mental health professionals, so healthcare cybersecurity incident responders are constantly on alert, watching for and diagnosing those attacks as early as possible so they can take immediate action. The sooner they know a network has been breached, the sooner they can take the necessary steps to keep data secure and networks up and running. 

#3 Compliance and Governance

Anyone who provides medical services or handles highly sensitive private patient information is subject to HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996), which is an extremely complicated and intricate law with nuances that can be hard to interpret. Small violations – even if they’re unintentional – can result in strict penalties and steep fines.

A healthcare cybersecurity professional working in compliance and governance knows the ins and outs of HIPAA regulations and how those rules apply in real-world medical environments. They might offer advice about required security features for hospital networks, review and adjust policies and procedures for collecting patient data on tablets, or make sure privacy and access settings for digital records are in keeping with HIPAA requirements.

#4 Risk Assessment and Management

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – and that’s the idea behind risk assessment and management. An important part of healthcare cybersecurity, members of this team anticipate when, where, and how attacks might unfold; decide which ones are most likely; and create strategies to minimize the risks to the security of healthcare data and network.

Healthcare risk assessment and management professionals work in tandem with network security experts to identify the critical data and systems in the overall healthcare infrastructure. Then, they assess risk and identify potential security concerns or system vulnerabilities, offering their expertise for how to mitigate those risks and reduce the likelihood of a potential network attack. 

#5 Internet of Things and Medical Device Security

While many jobs in cybersecurity for healthcare involve protecting patient data and securing networks, Internet of Things (IoT) and medical device security is a little different. It involves the security of products like radiation machines, MRIs, CT scanners, insulin pumps, and pacemakers – and how to safely integrate them into the healthcare landscape.

As healthcare evolves and incorporates more and more technology, medical devices are becoming increasingly interconnected. A cybersecurity expert who works in IoT and medical device security figures out how to make sure those connections stay safe, creating security plans that integrate these devices into the greater IT healthcare infrastructure in ways that are both protective and compliant.

Ready to learn more? Contact Touro College Illinois and find out how to earn your degree and start your own exciting career in healthcare cybersecurity!