The Future of Cybersecurity Depends on Well-Trained Experts

Q&A with Healthcare Cybersecurity Program Director Joe Giordano

December 02, 2020
Joseph Giordano, director of Touro College Illinois\' Healthcare Cybersecurity Certificate Program
Joseph Giordano, the director of Touro College Illinois' Healthcare Cybersecurity Certificate Program, discusses cybersecurity's central role in healthcare.

Touro College Illinois Director of Healthcare Cybersecurity Certificate Program, Joe Giordano, breaks down why cybersecurity is a central part of today’s healthcare industry. Learn the importance of information security and how the internet of things in healthcare is playing a growing role in the field.

Why is cybersecurity so important?

Cybersecurity is important because it allows organizations to protect private data and maintain public trust. Data is an extremely valuable commodity. Lost data can mean lost profits or lost lives.

When one thinks of cybersecurity the first thing to consider is the CIA Triad (Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability). Confidentiality is concerned with ensuring that data is protected. That means that the secrecy and privacy of the data and the systems that process the data is enforced. Integrity is about ensuring the correctness and consistency of data, especially critical data. Finally, availability guarantees that systems, networks, and computers, in addition to applications (software) and data are available as needed. Organizations must be concerned with the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their information systems.

Hackers and attackers live on the other side of the coin. They want to steal data (breach confidentiality), maliciously change data (breach integrity), and/or take systems down via denial-of-service attacks or ransomware (breach availability). Today, when so many organizations are totally dependent upon their data for day-to-day operations, having effective cybersecurity is tremendously important.

A hacked system can put an organization out of business. Proprietary information can be stolen or destroyed. National critical infrastructure systems, the systems which a modern society depends on to function, such as electricity, oil and gas, air traffic control, financial systems, and the hospitals, can be taken down. The results can be devastating for not just the organization and the people that they serve, but the country as a whole.

Why get an advanced graduate certificate in healthcare cybersecurity?

Recent news has shown that hospitals are increasingly becoming victims of ransomware and other types of cyber attacks. In addition, hostile actors have been suspected of stealing critical information related to the COVID-19 vaccine in development.

Earning an advanced certificate in healthcare cybersecurity will provide the graduate with a much-needed skill that can be applied to one of the nation’s critical infrastructure sectors. It’s an in-demand field, with the potential to have great impact. The graduate certificate offered by Touro College Illinois addresses the area from many angles, so graduates are well-prepared. The program presents the student with a detailed view of the healthcare critical infrastructure sector from the standpoint of legal, policy, risk, compliance, and ethical issues.

HIPAA and GDPR are two important topics addressed in the Touro program. On the technical side, the Touro program teaches the students hands-on, applicable skills in the network security and survivability, cloud computing security, medical device (IoT) security, and incident response and recovery. The skills that you will learn at Touro will enable you to work to secure healthcare IT systems including those in hospitals, health clinics, nursing homes, medical laboratories, insurance companies, and any other environments related to healthcare.

What is the future of cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is a field that’s in high demand and will continue to grow. The future of cybersecurity will depend on well-trained experts who can tackle the challenges ahead. Broadly speaking, more and more systems will come online and greater amounts of data will be stored electronically, especially in the healthcare field. At the same time, hackers and bad actors will become smarter and smarter. Their tools will become more and more sophisticated, and it will become more difficult to attribute attacks to specific actors.

In addition, the growth of Internet of Things devices will increase at a rapid pace. These IoT devices will permeate every field and every critical infrastructure, and IoT in Healthcare will adapt to address new challenges. Wearable IoT devices are more and more commonplace. With each and every piece of new and innovative technology comes not just greater capability but also another area for attack. Remembering that a system is only as secure as its weakest link —all the hacker needs to do to hack into a system is to find that one small vulnerability. This future holds great promise for capable cybersecurity professionals who know how to hunt for threats, find system vulnerabilities, protect systems, recover from attacks, and find perpetrators.