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Cyber Security

Top 6 Cybersecurity Lessons Startups Can Learn From Healthcare Organizations



cyber security lessons startups can l;erarn from health care companies

COVID-19 won’t be here forever, but cybercriminals will!

Leveraging the COVID-19 situation, cybercriminals are targeting SMEs and even large enterprises to steal valuable information. Many reports claim that cybercrimes have doubled in the last couple of months.

The healthcare industry is one of the latest victims of cybercriminals. According to Accenture, the healthcare industry has witnessed around 41% increase in cyberattacks. The report also says that the healthcare industry on average experiences 130 data breaches in a year.

However, as a healthcare IT consultant, I have recently noticed that healthcare organizations are ramping up their efforts to safeguard patient data. And for that, they are deploying many technologies, solutions and unique cost-effective ideas.

The technologies, solutions and ideas healthcare startups are deploying are so effective that other startups can learn cybersecurity lessons from healthcare startups. Today, in this blog, I will share the same. I will list down 6 cybersecurity lessons learned from healthcare organizations in 2020 during COVID-19.

How are healthcare startups avoiding cybercriminals? (Learning from other startups!)  

Avoiding cybercriminals or ensuring data security is not a task, it is the process. And a process is always more complicated than a task. But here is how healthcare organizations are streamlining the process, the cybersecurity process.

  1. Determine the cybersecurity risks level 

Not all healthcare startups are on the radar of cybercriminals. Thus, it is a rational idea to determine the possibility of a cyberattack or to determine the cybersecurity risks level. This process enables organizations to know the threat level – whether they are on the radar of cybercriminals or not. 

To find the cybersecurity risks level, healthcare organizations simply link the type of data they store to the motive of cybercriminals. For instance, if a healthcare organization stores medical images of patients and not the patient’s personal and financial data, they should not invest more in cybersecurity.

But if a healthcare organization stores many valuable data of the patients, accommodates less-trained staff and works with legacy networks, they should worry about cybersecurity as their cybersecurity risk is high.

Learning for other startups: You should invest only after confirming that you are the potential target! If you do not store any crucial data, you don’t have to allocate your resources to cybersecurity.

  • Find the loopholes through technical assessment

A network has many open doors or errors which work as the opportunities for hackers to get access to databases. They usually scan the network and attack the ‘fragile part’. Thus, it is important to find the loopholes in the network and fix it to close the entry doors for the cybercriminals.

Carrying out the technical assessment is the best way to find loopholes in the network. It is designed to yield the vulnerability in the network. A technical assessment does not only aim to find the vulnerabilities, but it also aims to quantify and prioritize the vulnerabilities.

So, now when cybersecurity experts know the loopholes which cybercriminals can leverage to attack, the cybersecurity experts can easily avoid the attack by fixing the loopholes.

Learning for other startups:

This is the best method to avoid cyber attacks. You should find the open doors in your network and close it to prevent the undetected entry of hackers into your network.

  • Software configuration assessment

A healthcare organization uses a number of software to streamline operations. They also use a lot of complex software. Sometimes, the poor configuration of these complex software creates easy paths for cybercriminals to attack the enterprise network as cybercriminals are many times using software to get access to the network or a server.

Learning for other startups:

While installing software on a computer device connected in the enterprise network, make sure the authenticity of the software and do not change the installation setting or software setting without the proper knowledge.

  • Quick incident response

Regardless of the efforts healthcare organizations put to safeguard the network, cybercriminals many times find ways to penetrate the security measures. In such a scenario, only a quick incident response is hope.

Healthcare organizations always pay extra heed to incident response. They form a team which quickly takes control over the network and close the paths for attackers before they cause havoc.

The incident response team utilizes many security tools to monitor the network in real-time. If they identify any unusual activity or the system alerts them, they quickly put best practices to work to prevent cybercriminals from getting system access.

Learning for other startups:

Always work best but prepare for the worst. Cybercriminals can anytime, anyhow bypass the security of your system. So, be proactive and prepared.

  • Train the staff

Generally, staff working in the healthcare organization lacks the knowledge of the cybersecurity which leads them to click on any malicious links or commit any costly mistake. Thus, healthcare organizations are putting emphasis on staff training. They give basic knowledge about cybersecurity and their deployed network to the staff and keep testing the staff’s cybersecurity knowledge after a fixed interval.

Learning for other startups:

If your staff does not follow cyber hygiene, things can easily go messy as staff members have network access and they spend the majority of their time around it.

  • Always deploy feature-packed security solution including firewall

To ensure cybersecurity, deploying software security solutions as well as hardware security solutions is the basic requirement. But a premium security solution works more precisely and efficiently than an affordable security solution. Thus, healthcare organizations generally deploy premium feature-packed security solutions, especially a firewall.

A feature-packed firewall costs a bit more than the basic firewall. But a feature-packed firewall is worth the money. It does not only safeguard the enterprise network but offers many flexibilities and real-time network data to the admin.

For instance,

  • Admin can know the connected network and find the data usage of each network.
Silhouette of a radar station on the Polish coast at sunset.
  • Admin can know the top sources of threats to a network.
Silhouette of a radar station on the Polish coast at sunset.
  • Admin can know the most affected network.
  • Admin can impose content filtering to prevent users from opening irrelevant sites.
Silhouette of a radar station on the Polish coast at sunset.
  • Admin can know every single activity of the users on that network.

Learning for other startups:

An ‘affordable security solution’ is the myth, actually!

In a nutshell: 

Cybersecurity is the challenge for any startup serving in any industry. An ever-increasing number of cybersecurity attacks clearly depicts that it is a much bigger problem for startups than COVID-19.

However, there is one industry that is pulling out all dots to curb the coronavirus as well as cyberattacks. In this blog, we have discussed 6 ways of how healthcare organizations are safeguarding crucial patient data.

These ways are,

  • Confirm the level of cyberattack risk
  • Find the loopholes in the network and fix it
  • Do  not configure the software without proper knowledge
  • Form an incident response team
  • Train the staff
  • Opt for feature-packed security solutions 

Parth Patel is a serial entrepreneur and CEO of SyS Creations – top healthcare managed IT services provider. He has been serving in the Canadian healthcare industry for more than 7 years and even developed a virtual healthcare solution for long-term care homes.

Cyber Security

Breaking Barriers: Bridging the Cybersecurity Gender Skill Gap 



Bridging the Cybersecurity Gender Skill Gap

A perfect storm is brewing in the cybersecurity sector where an increase in cyber threats is compounded by a major skills shortage and lack of women representation. 

Cyberattacks can shut down infrastructure, close businesses, drain bank accounts, and more. Protecting systems and data from sophisticated hackers has never been so important, and the value of the global cybersecurity market is predicted to reach an eye-popping £340 billion in 2030.  

Despite the industry’s apparent wealth, a worrying dearth of cybersecurity professionals, especially women, currently exists. A mere 24% of the global cybersecurity workforce are women. 

From recruitment challenges to the gender pay gap, cybersecurity services provider, ramsac, is exploring reasons for the glaring absence of women in cybersecurity, and why solving this problem could go a long way to plugging the skills gap and improving diversity. 

Gender Bias Towards Men 

Discrimination against women – both conscious and unconscious – appears rife in the cybersecurity industry in 2024. Studies have found that 51% of females who work in cybersecurity have experienced some form of gender discrimination compared to just 15% of men. These figures further prove how deep-rooted discrimination towards women is in cybersecurity, and why it’s likely to be off-putting for females considering a career in the industry. 

Gender Pay Differences 

Alongside the cybersecurity skills gaps is a significant gender pay gap where male cybersecurity workers are paid more than their female counterparts. In fact, the latest figures reveal that in the technology and cybersecurity industry, a staggering 91.1% of companies with 250 or more employees pay their male workers more than their female staff for performing the same job. This makes the tech industry one of the worst offenders when it comes to delivering equal pay, with the gender pay gap standing at 16%, much higher than the UK national average of 11.6%.  

Absence of Female Role Models 

The apparent lack of women in cybersecurity perpetuates the general view of it being a male-dominated sector and a bit of a ‘boys’ club.’ With just one-in-four cybersecurity workers being female, opportunities for women in this growing tech space have been limited – despite the continued growth of the global digital landscape. With only a small number of female figureheads to aspire to in cybersecurity, the perception of it being an industry mostly for men will continue until attitudes change. 

Recruitment Challenges 

Recruitment teams have been guilty of taking a narrow view when it comes to filling roles in cybersecurity. What does this mean? That recruiters only look for male candidates whose skills and technical experience exactly match those of the current workforce. This myopic approach and reluctance to hire women who require training – despite the general cybersecurity skills shortage – denies women the opportunity to learn new skills and launch a career in the field. 

How Can the Cybersecurity Industry Encourage More Women to Join? 

Develop More Cybersecurity Apprenticeships 

Apprenticeships are a great way to bolster an industry’s workforce, and the same is true of women in cybersecurity. Schemes like the UK Government’s cybersecurity qualification offer a significant starting wage that rises when candidates secure a permanent job. Not only do apprenticeships help to create a diverse pool of talent within the sector, but they also give women greater opportunities to gain practical experience within a working environment and learn the essential skills they’ll need for a future in cybersecurity. 

Deliver Equal Pay for Women  

As mentioned, the tech industry is notorious for paying women employees less than males. However, a recent survey of UK cybersecurity workers revealed that salaries for females in technology are increasing and that the gender pay gap is slowly narrowing. This suggests tech employers are working hard to bridge the gender pay gap by introducing standards for determining salary structures based on experience, relevant skills, and performance across all roles. 

Work Closely with Schools 

The UK Government is determined to engage with schools and support girls considering a career in cybersecurity. For example, more than 12,500 girls across the UK recently entered the National Cyber Security Centre’s 2023/24 CyberFirst Girls Competition which aims to encourage those aged 12-13 years to pursue an interest in technology and cybersecurity. An incredible 3,608 teams from more than 750 schools across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland were involved, and the competition continues to grow each year. 

As you can see, the gender skills gap remains a serious problem in the tech and cybersecurity industry, with a lack of female workers and pay inequality among two of the biggest challenges facing employers. However, governments and cybersecurity companies realise they are missing a trick by excluding women from the cybersecurity workforce, and that female tech employees can provide an obvious solution for filling the skills shortages while making cybersecurity an inclusive space for everyone. 

Thoughts on this matter. 

Commenting on this, Rob May, the Executive Chair of ramsac – the secure choice, said “In the face of a burgeoning cybersecurity crisis, the underrepresentation of women in this sector is not just a missed opportunity—it’s a pressing challenge we must address. We are working in an era where cybersecurity threats loom larger and more complex, it’s clear that diversifying our talent pool is more than a matter of fairness—it’s a strategic imperative. By actively recruiting, retaining, and promoting women within the cybersecurity field, we’re not just closing the gender gap; we’re opening a gateway to enhanced innovation, perspective, and resilience in protecting our digital worlds.

Diversity by every measure will result in diversity of thought and that is a brilliant tool for any of us in the cybersecurity industry. As industry leaders we all need to champion change and create a cybersecurity workforce that is as diverse as the challenges we face.” 

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Cyber Security

The Five Essential Cybersecurity Measures Every Construction Company Needs



cybersecurity in construction

Recent high-profile cyber-attacks on the construction industry have highlighted the vulnerability of businesses of all sizes to cyber threats. As the industry adopts digital ways of working, it’s crucial to understand these threats and protect your business.

Construction businesses are seen as easy targets by cyber criminals due to their high cash-flows and the extensive use of sub-contractors, making them susceptible to spear phishing. Even if they don’t store financial information, construction businesses still have valuable data that can be misused for unfair advantages or identity theft. A data breach or ransomware attack can cause business disruption, reputational damage, and potential investigations from the Information Commissioner’s Office.

The building industry faces numerous digital threats, from phishing to extortion:

Email Phishing

A staggering 83% of firms in the construction field have encountered phishing attempts. These often masquerade as urgent messages from high-level executives, pressuring recipients to act hastily by sending money or key financial data.

Information Theft

Construction companies harbour a wealth of sensitive data, from financial records to subcontractor details, making them prime targets for cybercriminals. Data breaches can be particularly challenging to resolve. The RMD Kwikform case from December 2020 came as a stark warning to the construction industry that they weren’t immune from high profile cybersecurity attacks.

High Fraud Prevalence

In 2022, construction businesses were among the most frequent victims of fraud, with about 5% affected. Shockingly, 79% of the industry still lacks adequate cybersecurity measures, and 26% fail to keep their devices updated.

Covert Data Collection

Spyware can silently infiltrate systems, siphoning off sensitive information without detection. It often arrives disguised in seemingly harmless emails or on websites that seem legitimate.

Service Disruption

Approximately 21% of construction companies have faced sophisticated attacks like Denial of Service, which can render devices unusable or crash networks and websites.

Protecting Construction Firms from Cyber Threats

Construction firms need to be aware of the risks and prepare their technology and people when it comes to cybersecurity. You can invest as much money as you want in advanced technology, but one click on an email could evade all these technologies and put your firm at risk.

Investing in reputable construction software can help mitigate the impact of a cybersecurity breach, but that’s just one piece of the puzzle. To truly safeguard your construction company, every employee must take proactive steps to bolster your organisation’s overall cybersecurity posture.

To safeguard construction businesses, executives and leaders should:

1. Implement Cybersecurity Measures Throughout All Project Stages 

During the design stage, architects and engineers should be aware of who they are sharing work with and utilise access management principles to ensure that only those who need to see work, do. Throughout construction, contractors must safeguard digital assets, such as blueprints and project management software, using tools like multi-factor authentication to help reduce hackers being able to access. As the project nears completion, handover documents should be securely transferred to the building owners and those who will be maintaining it to avoid sensitive documents being in the wrong hands.

2. Develop Contingency Plans

Developing comprehensive contingency plans is crucial for minimising the impact of cyber incidents. These plans should outline step-by-step procedures for detecting, containing, and recovering from various types of cyber-attacks. This should be shared with all employees and any third parties you work with, as well as your IT provider.

3. Regularly Train and Inform All Staff 

As a C-Suite leader, you should develop clear guidelines and policies for data handling, device usage, and internet safety. Regular training sessions should be conducted to educate all personnel about potential cyber threats and how to recognise and respond to them. These best practices should extend to contractors and subcontractors, ensuring that all parties involved in the project adhere to the same high security standards. By fostering a security-conscious workforce, construction firms can create a human firewall that complements technical security measures.

4. Approach Cybersecurity Strategically

By treating cybersecurity as a strategic priority, construction firms can integrate it into their overall risk management framework, ensuring that it receives the same level of attention and resources as other critical business risks. Cybersecurity has to be given the time and dedication to ensure that any breaches that do occur can be dealt with efficiently and effectively.

5. Invest In Reputable Software Solutions

When selecting software, it’s important to prioritise companies with a strong track record in security and compliance, and who can demonstrate continuous compliance as well. Are they compliant with relevant ISO certifications or government standards such as Cyber Essentials?

By adopting these measures, construction firms can better defend against the evolving landscape of cyber threats.

The construction industry’s adoption of digital technologies has exposed it to significant cyber threats, making robust cybersecurity measures essential. Protecting sensitive data, training staff, and treating cybersecurity as a strategic priority are crucial steps to defend against these risks. By doing so, construction firms can safeguard their operations, reputation, and data from the evolving landscape of cyber threats.

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Cyber Security

Going beyond Zero Trust: How far should organisations go to protect their information?



information security

Organisations are under extreme pressure when it comes to protecting data. The range of cybersecurity threats is constantly evolving as the world becomes increasingly reliant on technology.

Cybersecurity breaches are now so commonplace that in the UK an alarming 59% of medium businesses, 69% of large businesses, and 56% of high-income charities have experienced an attack according to latest government figures spanning a 12-month period.

As cyber-criminals use more and more sophisticated methods including Artificial Intelligence (AI) to exploit vulnerabilities in systems and networks, cybersecurity must keep up to date with the latest developments to nullify these threats. From encryption to access control and human firewalls, cybersecurity experts, ramsac, are highlighting how effective solutions such as the Zero Trust security model help businesses enhance cybersecurity in the workplace.

What is the Zero Trust security model?

Businesses and organisations used to assume that most elements of your network were safe, so they focussed on protecting access with VPNs (Virtual Private Networks), firewalls, and on-site equipment. However, as data footprints spread outside company networks and began living in the cloud, the Zero Trust security model offered a more holistic approach.

With Zero Trust, everyone and anything is treated as unknown, forcing legitimate users to authenticate and be authorised before they’re granted access.

The main principles of Zero Trust

There are three main principles of a Zero Trust cybersecurity model that will help protect assets from data breaches and cybercrime, and all of them can be applied across any IT estate to reduce security risk.

Robust user verification:

Zero Trust teaches organisations to authenticate and authorise access to networks and systems based on all available data points such as the user’s identity, location, and device.

Least privilege:

User access should be restricted to only what is necessary based on risk-based adaptive policies. In other words, users should only be granted minimal access to the resources they need to do their jobs in order to safeguard data and sensitive information.

Damage limitation:

Organisations can minimise any damage caused by a data breach or cyberattack by segmenting access via devices and improving application awareness. This helps restrict lateral movement in the event of an attack, while all sessions should also be encrypted end-to-end for greater security.

Using Zero Trust in the workplace

Zero Trust addresses many of the weaknesses that existed with traditional cybersecurity. Historically, users who signed in through single sign-on are gained access to all company networks which could cause widespread problems in the event of passwords being stolen or unauthorised access.

With a Zero Trust approach everything in your IT estate is protected by verifying every device and user identity. Not only that, but it also helps secure remote system access, smartphones and other personal devices, and relevant third-party apps.

For the best cybersecurity results, Zero Trust should be fully integrated across all company architecture including network access, user identities, data, endpoints, infrastructure, and apps. There are many reasons for this including:


Identities are the foundation of any strong Zero Trust policy. The highest level of authentication, authorisation, and verification should exist for both human and non-human identities when connecting to company networks from both personal and corporate endpoints with approved devices.

For example, multi-factor authentication (MFA) should always be enforced to reduce the likelihood of a cyberattack, while users could also be required to follow passwordless authentication such as biometrics and facial recognition when signing in. Many companies hire an identity provider for identity support to protect their cloud apps and on-site infrastructure in this way. It also allows for real-time user analysis, device activity, and location to spot suspicious activity and limit any damage caused by a data breach.


All devices and endpoints should be registered with your identity provider in order to heighten security. Smartphones, mobile devices, tablets, laptops, desktop computers, and even servers can be managed and monitored using a service such as Microsoft Endpoint Manager.

In addition, company devices should be encrypted while workstations and servers should be secured. An Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) solution is also beneficial for the early detection of any unusual activity across a network, and the emergency response to keep all system and reputational damage to a minimum.


Companies can benefit from strong threat protection and detection across their entire app ecosystem with a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB). This allows you to expand all security controls to any app in any browser, in real-time.

Companies should start by identifying any cloud-based apps their workers are using and take steps to deny any unsanctioned apps that have not been officially improved and could contain viruses and cyber threats. Again, all apps should only be made available with the least amount of privilege access applied to users, and ongoing verification in place.

Digital infrastructure

Runtime control – the ability to make changes to a running system – should be activated across the full company infrastructure under Zero Trust. This typically involves managing permissions and access across environments alongside the configuration of servers.

Combined with real-time monitoring and app identity, this approach will identify abnormal behaviour on a network, send out alerts, and take action to mitigate the risks.


Under Zero Trust, all data should be classified in order to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. The use of sensitivity labels and encryption should be applied to emails, files, documents, and any form of data that could become vulnerable to a cyberattack.

Smart machine learning models allow companies to strengthen data classification so that networks and data are protected by the very latest tools. Not only that, but data loss prevention policies can also be put in place to limit the risk of a data breach.


Devices and users should not be trusted just because they’re linked to an internal network. Therefore, before access is granted to any private or public network, traffic filtering and segmentation is applied when implementing a Zero Trust policy.

Cyberthreat protection can be further enhanced by leveraging machine learning to encrypt all traffic, activity, and internal communication on workplace systems alongside limiting access and running real-time threat detection.

How to implement zero trust

It is important to understand that Zero Trust is not a product, it is not something you can buy off the shelf, but it is a strategy and among the most robust and effective cybersecurity strategies available today. Not only does it minimise your attack surface and reduce the risk of a data breach, but it also gives you greater control over your network and cloud environments and mitigates the impact of successful attacks, thus saving time and money.

Organisations can implement Zero Trust in the workplace in the following ways:

Monitor networks and devices

It’s crucial to gain full visibility of network traffic and connected devices so that users, laptops, smartphones, and other equipment are continuously verified and authorised.

Update devices always

Organisations with Zero Trust policies can restrict access to vulnerable devices at risk of a cyberattack. Similarly, all identified weaknesses and vulnerabilities should be immediately patched up and fixed to maintain maximum security.

Implement Least Privilege Practices

As previously mentioned, everyone from company executives to IT departments should have the least amount of access they need to limit any potential damage if a user’s account is hacked.

Break up the network

Partitioning the network into smaller sections will help contain any breaches and minimise damage before it escalates.

Adopt MFA security keys

Hardware security tokens that leverage encryption algorithms, authentication codes, or a secure PIN to complete MFA or 2FA prompts are significantly more secure than soft tokens such as one-time passcodes sent via email or SMS.

Focus on threat intelligence

As cybercriminals are constantly refining their nefarious tactics, it’s vital to utilise the latest threat intelligence data feeds to stay ahead of the game and identify security risks early.

Take a pragmatic approach

Making end users re-verify their identities throughout the day via multiple security tools can ironically decrease security. It can produce a similar negative effect as overly strict password protocols that may cause users to recycle the same passwords time and time again.

As you can see, companies with a Zero Trust policy strengthen their cybersecurity as they are continuously authenticating and verifying every user, device, and app trying to access their system. Not only that, but they are also encrypting everything on the network, segmenting it to contain threats and attacks in real-time, and limiting access to only those who need it, so their digital environment receives the highest level of threat protection at all times.

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