Data Security Must Always be Top Priority in Healthcare

Data Security

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In the healthcare industry, many employees are somewhat aware of data privacy but don’t understand why it needs to be an integral part of their business operations. While HIPAA compliance is a common motivation that a lot of organizations have in securing sensitive data, there are many other key reasons why organizations need to be aware of the critical role of data privacy in effective healthcare..

Importance of Data Security in Healthcare

Increased Number of Cyber Attacks

In general, the number of cyber-attacks against companies is increasing. Hackers know that companies have the money to pay the ransom and get such sensitive data back and many times these same companies don’t have adequate in-house resources to secure their networks.
Healthcare organizations are targeted more by cyber-attacks and every year they are increasing. The healthcare industry is a viable target because of the amount of valuable sensitive data they have, the motivation they have to keep their business operations running smoothly and the fact that many of healthcare organizations are running on outdated networks which can be easily hacked into.
Healthcare organizations hold a lot of sensitive data in their networks because of the nature of their business. This includes patient records, their Social Security numbers, credit card information and medical diagnosis. Hackers find such information very lucrative as they can sell this information on the dark web or use it to carry out identity theft and financial frauds. They can also charge ransom to return it to the victim. That’s why the importance of data security in healthcare is continuing to increase.
A cyber-attack can also cause a healthcare organization’s network to go offline, halting all business operations which can have negative effects on the business. When other businesses go through cyber-attacks, they just have to halt their sales and administrative operations. However, healthcare organizations may have to halt their patient appointments, surgeries and medical treatments which are lifesaving. Hackers know this and understand that healthcare organizations are more desperate to minimize downtime than others which can better motivate them to pay a ransom.
Security of Data

Avoiding Non-Compliance Penalties

Data privacy is a primary concern for healthcare companies if they want to avoid non-compliance penalties and any subsequent damage to their reputation. To avoid all this, businesses need to evaluate their network infrastructure and internal processes – especially when it comes to how employees handle sensitive information.

Build a Foundation of Trust with Patients and Customers

Doctor-patient trust is critical in building a successful healthcare practice. It can be broken when practices use platforms that sell patient data to advertisers and other large companies. When this trust is broken, patients will be hesitant to open up about their health details. This can harm a patient’s health and they may not receive an accurate diagnosis without proper sharing of symptoms and medical history.
Patients can also lose trust when and if hackers display their private health data on the dark web for sale. In such cases, organizations suffer reputational damages and customers lose trust in their ability to protect their patient data.
Organizations that understand the importance of data security in healthcare can protect their reputation and build customer trust by securing sensitive data within the network.

How to Ensure Data Security

Have a Workable Cyber Security Policy

Employees are the weakest link when it comes to one’s healthcare practice’s cyber security. An organization can have the best tools but all of those can fail if an employee clicks on a phishing link by mistake or creates a weak password that a hacker can hack into.
Training employees about Cyber security is very important and it is one of the best practices for fostering a culture of personal accountability. Workplace cyber security policies should include some key points.
Organizations must include general training on how to stay safe when working online and in programs. Remembering to log out of the computer when not in use and sending sensitive information to other employees safely, creating safe passwords, and avoiding phishing schemes can go a long way.
Having a healthcare communication app that is secure also helps.

Have a Role-Based Security System

When companies let employees access all private company information – from secure financial documents to patient files – they risk an employee with bad intentions misusing the information. Hackers also have more chances of finding an employee with access to a certain account.
Implementing role-based security procedures helps minimize the risk of important information being leaked or stolen. It also stops employees with bad intentions from accessing any important information they want. It keeps organizations HIPAA compliant and avoids accidentally accessing sensitive patient information they are not authorized for.

Consider Managed IT Services

Data privacy is a chief concern for healthcare organizations that wish to prevent network breaches and stay compliant with HIPAA. However, the task of staying secure and compliant is complex and keeps evolving. Having few cyber security measures in places like a firewall or anti-malware software leaves the organization extremely vulnerable. A robust cyber security system has multiple layers of protection including software, hardware and trained IT professionals who monitor and patch up the network.
Managed IT services is a way to protect your network from hackers. Managed IT services layer multiple security measures in a proactive approach. They regularly install and maintain updated security hardware and software, educate employees on cyber security best practices and resolve security issues as they come along.

HIPAA Compliant and Secure Communication

For everyday internal and external communication, a healthcare organization can use is a free HIPAA-compliant secure messaging application built for the healthcare industry. If you’re interested in having a secure system for HIPAA compliant texting to patients, is a perfect choice. We provide rapid, secure, documented text-based communication to hospitals, and our cloud-based technology ensures that you always have access to our services when you need them the most. We help you gain all the benefits of secure communication with secured data in healthcare while increasing your process efficiency.

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