Healthcare organizations have used technology to improve the efficiency and quality of healthcare security services and are moving to full digitalization. Doctors can now view a patient’s medical test results directly on their mobile device and get real-time patient parameters such as their heart rate and blood pressure. But that also means that irreplaceable medical data has leaked to the Internet and is drawing the attention of cybercriminals.
Healthcare institutions are becoming more and more popular targets for hackers, which has a significant impact on cybersecurity. Back in 2017, more than 200,000 systems in 150 countries were infected with the WannaCry ransomware. This massive ransomware attack freezes the system and blocks access to all files on the system until the ransom is paid. It caused serious disruptions in several organizations, including hospitals. All large healthcare organizations need security services from a well-known healthcare security service provider.
Importance of Data Security In The Healthcare Industry
Health professionals deserve maximum protection as they serve communities and people. Most hospitals take safety issues very seriously. In addition, hospital security policies are becoming more stringent to mitigate new security risks. Healthcare providers are potential targets for cybersecurity attacks at this point in time. Therefore, data protection and confidentiality are very important in the healthcare industry. Resultantly, you need to protect your data both internally and externally.
Cyber attacks also pose a risk to patient security and privacy on protected health information (PHI), personally identifiable information (PII), and other programs. Hackers can access and steal patients’ personal data. In addition, an attacker could intentionally or unintentionally modify a patient’s data, which could seriously harm the patient’s health. This is similar to a ransomware attack.
Hence, proper data security strategies should be implemented, and security measures should be taken, such as data encryption and access control of patient files to prevent anything from being leaked. These include changing passwords frequently, using a virtual private network (VPN), and preventing data from being stored on a user’s device.
Ways To Secure Healthcare Data
Here are some tips to secure healthcare data:
Strengthen User Authentication
Implement an access control safeguard that can lock down the printer and limit access to specific features based on the user. At the same time, these safeguards should control how and where documents and images are stored securely. Another way is to increase your password security.
Encrypt Your Data
This prevents data from being read by all users except authorized users and targeted recipients. Encryption is applied to data in storage and in transit to protect the integrity of documents, images, messages, and other personal health information. The technical safeguards defined in the HIPAA Security Rules are intended to control access to electronically protected health information and include the following specifications:
- Unique user identification
- Emergency access procedure
- Automatic logout
- Encryption and decryption
Protect The Network
Hackers have different ways of breaking into the networks of healthcare institutions. So, healthcare IT departments must use different tools to try to thwart them. However, while most organizations spend too much on perimeter security, such as firewalls and antivirus software, experts ask to adopt technologies that limit the damage of security attacks. Hire a company that deals well with cyber and security attacks.
Implement Physical Security Controls
Despite the increasing popularity of electronic medical records, businesses still store a lot of sensitive data on paper. Therefore, you as a healthcare provider must ensure that the doors and cabinets in which files are stored are locked. Furthermore, the cameras and other physical security controls should also be in use.
Properly Dispose Of Old Equipment
Identify older technologies that can no longer protect your data. Safely remove these systems so that your organization has a reduced risk of a data leak.
Educate Your Staff
Employees are often involved in medical data breaches, whether due to negligence or malicious intent. Therefore, IT security programs need to focus heavily on employee education. This includes the following:
- Advice on choosing a secure password.
- Lessons on avoiding phishing, social engineering, and other attacks that target employees
About GPS Security Group
GPS Security Group is a well-reputed and reliable company that deals with cyber and security attacks in Alberta, British Columbia, and other parts of Western Canada. We focus on teamwork, dedication, and continuous improvement in providing our clients with security services, security products, and solutions. If you have any queries, let us know here.