Mathis Discusses Cybersecurity as Guest on Jarrard Podcast
Published July 24, 2023

Mathis Discusses Cybersecurity as Guest on Jarrard Podcast

Principal Barry Mathis was a guest on Jarrard Inc.’s High Stakes Podcast series episode, “Don’t Call It a Breach: Healthcare Cybersecurity.”

Mathis and guest Dan Schlacter, Vice President of Jarrard Inc.’s Health Services Practice, discuss the current state of cybersecurity in the healthcare industry and how leaders can impact their organizations’ recovery after a cyber-attack.

Target: Rural Healthcare

“It’s all about the money, and [cyber-threat groups]…have determined that healthcare is a good space in which [they] can make money,” says Mathis. He states overall, the healthcare industry has become a target for cyber-criminals driven by financial gain, but this is especially true for rural healthcare. Mathis explains that evidence shows cyber-criminals are targeting rural hospitals potentially because of the presence of vulnerable access points and federal funding with which cyber-ransoms can be paid.

While Mathis and others at PYA help healthcare organizations develop cybersecurity plans to assess risk and avoid cyber-attacks, he says hospital leaders must take decisive action before an attack happens and be prepared to effectively manage one.

Better Education

Mathis notes a major gap in the industry is the level of education for staff and physicians, who should be frequently educated on cybersecurity. Because most attacks happen through social engineering, all members of a healthcare operation should be armed with knowledge.

Cross-Specialty Team

Mathis and Schlacter note organizations should organize an empowered team that represents all levels of the organization, especially the executive, communications, legal, and compliance offices. This team should develop a cyber-incident crisis plan and practice it often.

Strategic Messaging

During a crisis, Mathis says the choice of words can make all the difference. “There is one little thing…that I think can very well change the outcome long term: Ban the word ‘breach’,” Mathis says. Strategic and transparent communication during a cyber incident greatly influences how the organization and its reputation recover from an attack.

The podcast series is produced by Jarrard Inc., a strategic communications firm located in Nashville and Chicago that focuses on healthcare communications. With a goal to empower healthcare organizations, the firm produces many informative resources for the industry.

If you would like additional guidance on cybersecurity, information technology infrastructure, risk assessment and management, compliance, or any matter related to healthcare strategy and transactions, one of our executive contacts would be happy to assist. You may email them below or by calling (800) 270-9629.

Learn more about PYA’s comprehensive risk management program, Overwatch, and the firm’s Center for Rural Health Advancement.

Executive Contacts

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