How to Enhance Network and Endpoint Security for Senior Living in Richmond, VA

Senior living communities in Richmond, Virginia have two main goals: providing quality of life for residents and delivering healthcare services, such as memory care. To meet both goals, senior living centers need networks and endpoint security to support mobile solutions.

To comply with HIPAA regulations that govern access of healthcare information, caregivers at senior living and memory care centers must protect electronic health records (EHRs) while they are being stored and transmitted over the network. When creating environments for socialization, entertainment, and healthcare, senior living communities need to ensure that resident information and communications are kept secure.

Cybersecurity should be top of mind for senior living communities. To protect their residents, these communities need to adopt a proactive approach to security that includes implementing managed detection and response (MDR) for the network and endpoints.

Network Security Challenges for Richmond-Area Senior Living Communities

Senior living communities and memory care facilities are stewards of their residents’ personal and medical information. Residents need to trust that their information is being protected even as senior living centers and their residents are being targeted by cybercriminals. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that Richmond-area patients were affected by a data breach of HCA Healthcare, one of the largest healthcare systems in the U.S., in the summer of 2023. The hackers then offered the stolen patient information for sale.

When caregivers at senior living facilities transmit healthcare information or track the health of residents using mobile devices, that information is vulnerable to being stolen or compromised. Cybercriminals can sell this information on the dark web or use it to commit insurance fraud.

Residents are vulnerable to phishing scams and malware attacks when they use mobile devices to communicate with family and friends or for entertainment. Hackers can use social engineering to pretend to be a caregiver or loved one and then ask the resident to click on an infected link or to send money. Websites that residents use for entertainment may also be infected with malware.

MDR for the network and endpoints is a great way to uncover and remediate any threats before they can cause damage.

What Is Managed Detection and Response?

Managed Detection and Response (MDR) provides a senior living community with cybersecurity experts who can monitor the network and endpoints, such as the mobile devices caregivers and residents use to communicate, so any suspicious activity can be identified.

After detecting a threat, MDR can guide the response and carry out any remediation needed to restore an endpoint to a secure condition. With MDR, detection and response take place in real-time to prevent an attack from escalating or moving laterally along the network.

MDR is a way for senior living centers to outsource threat-hunting capabilities. As such, MDR provides around-the-clock monitoring through a combination of staffing expertise and the latest cybersecurity tools. These experts augment the in-house IT staff members at senior living communities who may not have the skill set needed to detect and respond to today’s advanced threats because they are focusing on how technology can improve the lives of residents.

Benefits of MDR for Senior Living Communities

Adopting MDR has many benefits for senior living communities in Richmond, VA. By outsourcing their MDR services, senior living centers can increase their network and endpoint security maturity, enabling them to detect and remediate advanced threats and emerging threats.

MDR has threat-hunting capabilities that support a modern, proactive approach to network security. Through MDR, senior living communities can follow the recommended cybersecurity framework, which includes processes for identifying, protecting, detecting, responding, and recovering.

With MDR, senior living facilities can reduce their mean time to detect (MTTD) and mean time to respond (MTTR). Accelerating detection and response means that cybercriminals have less time to access and steal resident data or to infiltrate systems through endpoints.

Endpoint Security Challenges at Richmond, VA Memory Care Centers

Richmond, VA needs more support for brain health and memory care. Research from the Medical College of Virginia on the Richmond Brain Health Initiative found that approximately 300,000 people in Virginia over the age of 45 need memory care to help them with some level of cognitive decline. However, Richmond lacks enough memory care centers to serve them. That’s why helping existing memory care centers in Richmond to protect their resident information is so important.

When Richmond residents can receive memory care, they deserve to be protected from the theft of their electronic health records (EHRs) and personally identifiable information through the endpoints they use for socialization, entertainment, and cognitive stimulation, as well as the devices their caregivers use to track and manage their health.

Mobile devices can make residents and caregivers vulnerable to phishing, social engineering, and ransomware attacks. For example, residents with cognitive issues may be susceptible to phishing emails, which encourage them to click on a link infected with malware. Hackers that use social engineering can send emails that fool residents into believing a message comes from a family member or caregiver.

Caregivers that use endpoints to communicate with and track residents may expose medical records to a ransomware attack that could lock down all the memory care facility’s technology systems and encrypt patient records. For these reasons, memory care centers need to implement antivirus solutions for endpoints.

What Is Antivirus Endpoint Protection?

As part of their MDR, senior living communities and memory care facilities in Richmond, VA need antivirus endpoint protection to defend against the types of cyberattacks that target their residents and caregivers. But what is antivirus endpoint protection?

Antivirus endpoint protection can be installed on devices so they can be protected from ransomware and other types of malware. Endpoint antivirus solutions scan mobile devices and other endpoints to detect known malware signatures. When a signature that is known to be malicious is detected, the antivirus solution automatically blocks, quarantines, or removes the virus. Automation empowers senior living centers to immediately respond to and recover from malware attacks, preventing these attacks from compromising resident information.

Antivirus endpoint protection needs to be updated by solution providers to keep up with evolving malware signatures. Otherwise, the solution won’t recognize emerging threats to endpoints. Next-generation antivirus endpoint solutions are powered by artificial intelligence (AI) so they can better anticipate and detect new threats.

An antivirus endpoint protection solution should:

  • Continuously run malware scans
  • Warn users when they are about to visit a suspicious site
  • Prevent suspicious downloads
  • Update automatically
  • Identify types of viruses

Choosing the Right MDR Provider in Richmond, VA

Senior living centers in Richmond, VA need to work with an MDR provider who has experience working with organizations in the senior living industry and understands the region. A Richmond-based managed IT provider will have encountered any threats your community is likely to experience and will also be able to anticipate and respond to any local trends in cybersecurity.

As part of our Managed IT Services, DVD Networks provides Network Security Services for Richmond-area senior living communities and memory care centers. With our more than 20 years of experience working with senior living and memory care centers in Richmond, we understand the risk landscape and how to defend against threats. Our Managed IT Services for Network Security include Network Monitoring and Threat Detection & Incident Response, as well as MDR for the network and endpoints.


Find out how to strengthen your network and endpoint security. Request a proposal for managed IT services from DVD.