28 May 2023

MDR SOC healthcare: all you need to know

Here’s where the Security Operations Center (SOC) comes into play.  

In this blog article, we’ll show you how a dedicated team of cybersecurity experts can lend healthcare companies a hand when it comes to protecting their infrastructure. And in case building your own cybersecurity team isn’t exactly an option, we’ll have a few tips here as well – so read on.

Why is healthcare data so valuable for criminals?

Did you know that one stolen patient record is worth around $250 on the black market, while credit card details only around $5? That’s because a medical record is like a treasure trove for criminals. 

The medical records usually have inside:

  • Patient’s full personal information
  • ID and social security numbers
  • Financial details
  • Medical history, etc.

The criminals can then use the information to take loans under the victim’s name or fill insurance claims under their names. In fact, experts estimate that 95% of all identity theft cases come now from stolen healthcare records. 

But there are more reasons why criminals are so interested in obtaining healthcare data. 

Healthcare records can’t be easily changed or corrected

When someone notices their credit card info has leaked, the cards can be blocked in a few moments, often right from the banking application. So if criminals want to use the card, they have to be fast. 

The data inside the healthcare database can’t be as easily replaced though, giving the criminals far more time to exploit the data. 

Healthcare data makes a good ransom material

With how much healthcare depends on modern technology now to take care of their patients, encrypting the healthcare’s organization database or cutting off access to wearable devices can put the patient’s health and life in danger. 

Knowing this, cybercriminals often target critical healthcare systems, hoping that healthcare facilities will meet their demands faster. 

Long breach lifecycle

What is even more worrying is how long it takes for the healthcare industry to find and mitigate a breach – 329 days, on average. 

Looking at how little time healthcare professionals have during the day and how many applications hospitals or clinics are now using, you can’t exactly blame them for not noticing the incidents in time. Especially since monitoring the healthcare infrastructure for threats and mitigating those is a 24/7 job.  

All of those make the consequences of any attacks or breaches in the healthcare sector especially devastating. IBM, in their 2022’s Data Breach report found that an average cost of a breach in the healthcare industry is a staggering $10.10M, the highest cost of any industry. 

A dedicated Security Operations Team (SOC) could take over the security tasks though, to ensure the healthcare facilities (and their data) are fully protected.  

What is a Security Operations Center (SOC)?

A SOC is a group of cybersecurity experts armed with cutting-edge technology and processes to monitor, detect, and respond to security incidents in real time. 

Typically, they work in shifts to monitor business infrastructure during the workday and also on weekends and holidays. You could say that for organizations, they are the first lines of defense against cyberattacks and breaches.

The key responsibilities of the SOC team include:

  • Monitoring network systems, endpoints, devices, and data flows 24/7 to identify any suspicious activities or potential security breaches.
  • Detecting security incidents, investigating their scope and impact, and taking actions to mitigate the damage.
  • Proactive searching for and Identifying vulnerabilities in the infrastructure, prioritizing them, and then patching the issues.
  • Analyzing security incidents to understand what caused them and how to prevent similar incidents in the future.
  • Staying up-to-date with the latest cybersecurity threats, trends, and industry best practices to proactively defend against newly emerged risks.
  • Running security and compliance audits and then updating the security processes, technologies, and internal procedures.

Benefits of a Security Operations Center for healthcare facilities

A report by Check Point Research found that healthcare organizations worldwide had to deal with 1463 cyberattacks per week in 2022 – a 74% increase from 2021. On their own, fighting off all those attacks (especially the more sophisticated ones) is nearly impossible.  

The healthcare industry stands a much better chance of defending its systems and patient data with a SOC team on its side though.

One of the key benefits of working with a SOC is that they will keep an eye on the network activity through day and night and look for any suspicious activities such as unauthorized access or unusual network traffic. That way, they can quickly spot and respond to potential threats before they can cause damage. 

Having a SOC team on board can help healthcare companies with a few more things though:

Boost infrastructure visibility

As healthcare organizations started to use various digital healthcare tools and platforms, their infrastructure got a lot more complicated. And that unfortunately makes securing every tool and device in the hospital or service center a nearly impossible task. 

The SOC can resolve this problem by covering and then monitoring all endpoints for potential threats and vulnerabilities, no matter how large the network might be.

Compliance monitoring and auditing 

Healthcare organizations have to stay compliant with multiple regulations, such as HIPAA, HITECH, or GDPR – and the penalties for any violations can be pretty severe. For example, HIPAA fines can range from $100 to $50,000 per violation (or per record), depending on the level of negligence and damages.   

Security operations teams can run regular security and compliance audits, to make sure that all regulatory requirements are met. Plus, they can also prepare compliance reports for the authorities, detailing the security measures each healthcare provider implemented to protect the patient’s data.

Improved incident response times

By leaving the security tasks to the expert SOC teams, healthcare organizations can also significantly reduce the time it takes from noticing a security incident or threat to containing it. 

SOC teams have the necessary tools and expertise to spot signs of an incoming attack or potential system vulnerabilities and have detailed incident response procedures in place. That way, they can stop the attack from spreading, fix the damage caused by the attack, and restore normal operation as soon as possible.   

Enhanced protection of patient data and privacy

The SOC team can also add an extra layer of protection to the patient or other critical for the healthcare organization’s data. By encrypting patient medical records, for example, the risk of theft can be drastically reduced. Even if a hacker would somehow gain access to the files or the entire database, the encrypted data would be useless to them. 

The SOC team can also enhance the security of healthcare professionals’ mobile devices or tablets. 

Knowing that the organization prioritizes security and that their sensitive information is being handled with utmost care will boost patients’ trust – and the organization’s reputation. 

Managed Detection and Response (MDR) Solutions as an alternative to in-house SOC teams

While having an in-house Security Operations Center (SOC) can bring plenty of benefits to healthcare facilities, building one in-house is unfortunately neither easy nor cheap. That’s especially true for healthcare organizations, where the SOC teams should not only be experienced in responding to security issues but also understand the specific requirements of the healthcare industry. For smaller facilities, hiring such professionals might be out of reach.

Fortunately, there is an alternative solution that offers comparable benefits: Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services. MDR solutions can provide healthcare facilities with access to a team of security experts and the latest security but technologies without the need to build and maintain an in-house SOC. 

What else can they offer?

Expertise and experience

MDR providers specialize in cybersecurity and have a team of highly skilled cybersecurity professionals working for them. By partnering with them, healthcare facilities can take advantage of the SOC team’s years of experience and industry knowledge and for a fraction of what an in-house team would cost.  

24/7 monitoring and response 

MDR offers round-the-clock monitoring, detection, and incident response services. That way, healthcare facilities can rest assured that their infrastructure is protected all the time and that, in case of an incident, the SOC team will take care of those immediately.

Advanced tools and technologies

Threat intelligence platforms, advanced analytics systems, and incident response tools might sound like something only large hospitals or healthcare centers can afford. By partnering with a MDR provider though, smaller facilities can take advantage of the cutting-edge technologies and tools as well. And as the service providers keep updating their platforms often, healthcare businesses can be sure they will always have access to the latest security tools or features.

Scalability and flexibility 

MDR solutions can be easily tailored to the unique needs of healthcare facilities. Whether their client is a large hospital network with hundreds of employees or a small clinic, MDR providers can customize their service to fit the organization’s needs perfectly. The service can also be scaled up (or down) at any time, making it a far more flexible alternative to traditional in-house teams.


Building and maintaining an in-house SOC is pretty costly as organizations need to spend money on hiring, training, and employing cybersecurity professionals, plus also invest in the security infrastructure.   

With MDR services though, healthcare facilities only need to pay a yearly or monthly fee for access to the service, making it a far more affordable option. 

What can our CyberDefender do to protect healthcare data?

Building an in-house SOC team might be an option for healthcare facilities that prefer to have a dedicated in-house cybersecurity team and can afford to do so. 

Those who want to enhance their cybersecurity capabilities but without the costs and complexities of managing their own team though, should look in the direction of MDR systems such as our CyberDefender.

Inside it, you can find numerous tools for monitoring, detecting, and neutralizing threats, such as Forensics or Threat deception. And behind the platform, there’s our own team of cybersecurity professionals that know exactly how to use those tools to make sure no threat sneaks past them.  

Let us handle your IT security so you can focus on your patients.


Cybersecurity experts forecast all say the same thing – the number of attacks on the healthcare industry will only grow. So rather than wait anxiously for when they might be attacked, healthcare professionals should boost their hospital or clinic security to stop the criminals in their tracks. And working hand in hand with a SOC team that will look closely for anything that could endanger the facility network and data is the best way to do so.

What if you can’t afford to hire cybersecurity specialists in-house though? Partnering with an MDR provider can give you all the benefits of a SOC team but without having to worry about finding the right people or buying the right security systems. And when you know the MDR team has your back, you can focus on bringing your patients back to full health.   



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