What You Need to Know About Data Protection in Healthcare
Whenever dealing with a person’s medical records your data protection in healthcare needs to be second to none. This goes beyond the network security measures taken for financial information or other personal info. The loss of medical records through a leak, breach, or any other way can leave patients exposed and completely vulnerable. It also can lead to that patient leveling lawsuits against your practice. Not to mention the temporary loss of your practice’s ability to provide medical services until you correct the security problem.
All of this is both expensive and potentially devastating for your clients. That is why it is critical to take data protection in healthcare seriously. It isn’t something you should be attempting to do on your own. It takes the knowledge and expertise of an IT service provider to ensure you and your patients are taken care of. To help illustrate this importance here is what you need to know about data protection in healthcare.
Most healthcare providers do take data security seriously. However, as is the case with any other industry, network security is only as good as the weakest link. The problem here is if you attempt to implement your own network security without the aid of an IT professional you may not realize just how exposed you are.
Mobile security is one major area of concern. It is possible for doctors and other staff members in your office to access files and other data designed to help treat patients. In fact, mobile healthcare services are one of the largest growing areas of the industry. It’s also a major culprit for hacks and breaches. Often times mobile devices are not adequately protected or integrated into the office’s firewall.
It is critical to prevent external access on mobile phones, tablets, and other portable devices. This is why specific security measures need to be implemented on mobile devices. This includes multi factor authentication (MFA). This not only helps protect against Internet-based threats, but also in the event a phone is misplaced, lost, or gone through.
Just like using a computer system on the office network there is some common sense involved with mobile device security. Your employees should not be using an office computer to access personal emails. Opening an email attachment from an unknown source can lead to accidentally downloading viruses and malware. The same can happen with a mobile phone. The combination of common sense and IT services adding additional protection on mobile devices will help prevent these kinds of threats.
Constant Risk Assessment
Threats evolve in real-time. Hackers are always looking for an entry point into an otherwise protected network. If they identify a potential opening they will adjust and evolve to better move past your network security. This means your network security needs to evolve as well. The best way to do this is to constantly assess your network’s security risks. The best way to avoid hacks and data loss is to identify the problem areas before cyber thieves do. While this may seem like a never-ending battle (in a way, it is) you have the upper hand because you’re working from the inside.
With the help of an IT professional, they will already know what kind of security measures are in place. They can also monitor how external threats try to break through and then make the necessary adjustments. This allows your data security to stay at least one step ahead. However, the only way data protection in healthcare will remain ahead of these threats is if an IT service provider performs these regular risk assessments.
This is a must. You need to encrypt every bit of healthcare data you have. This acts as a final level of defense against data thieves. This way, even if they manage to sneak in past your current defensive setup and siphon off some information, they won’t be able to crack into the data.
It is also important to point out that while HIPAA does levy out penalties with the loss of healthcare data, it will not penalize you or implement different sanctions if the data lost was encrypted. Due to this, encrypting the files will not only prevent the loss of confidential information but it will also protect your practice from fines and other counteractions handed out by HIPAA.
This is another area of your business you may not think to protect. Internet of Things refers to devices that connect to the Internet, such as printers, appliances, and other devices that do not give you Internet access, but do run off of the cloud and other network connections, making it possible for you to control the device via WiFi. As stated earlier your network security is only as good as the weakest link. Yet far too many offices do not cover their IoT devices under the breadth of their security measures. If you fail to do this you’ll put all of your healthcare data files at risk.
Take The Next Move And Protect Your Clients Healthcare Data
With your business in the healthcare industry, it is crucial to do everything in your power to protect the company and patient information. You are a prime target for data thieves as if they manage to get past your network security they will gain access to not only personal data, but medical information, financial documentation, insurance accounts, and a host of other confidential documentation. With the severity of these kinds of data breaches, you need to do what you can to protect the information.
The best way to do this is to take advantage of the services provided by Charlotte IT Solutions. Charlotte IT Solutions specializes in data protection in healthcare, so whether you are a vision specialist, a dental office, or sell medical equipment to patients, the company understands the industry and what it takes to protect patient and client data. To take network security and data protection seriously now is the time to give Charlotte IT Solutions a call.