IT Security Threats and the Importance of Data Security in Healthcare

importance of data security in healthcare

Security threats are a very real issue every business faces. However, as a healthcare provider, the information you have is far more confidential, and because of this, more data thieves actively attempt to break past the firewall of your business. In order to keep the data of your business and your clients safe, you need to take healthcare information security very seriously. Here are some of the top IT security threats and the importance of data security in healthcare.

Dreaded Ransomware

Ransomware has evolved over the years to become a major threat to your business. Ransomware works its way onto your network the same way as any other phishing or spyware software. However, instead of leeching onto a file somewhere on your network and sending the data back to an offsite host, it springs into action and completely locks down your entire network. It then threatens further damage to your network unless you pay a ransom.

Many people and businesses who have fallen under this kind of an attack have simply paid the ransom, which is not recommended. Often times the ransomware will simply install another virus that will pounce a few days later. Or it leaves traces of other phishing software on your network.

There are a few ways you can go about combating ransomware if it has attacked your office. The first step is to completely disconnect from the Internet. However, as a healthcare provider, this is a challenge. Especially if you have IoT devices connected that needs to be up and running. The importance of data security in healthcare shows a single ransomware attack can completely take down your network and force you to reschedule patients until the issue has been resolved.

Ransomware and other phishing malware can make its way onto your network using a number of avenues. One of the most common is employees actually opening the front door and letting them in. This is done by opening corrupted emails and visiting websites that have been infected with ransomware. Other methods of insertion include bypassing the system firewall a few bits of data at a time. The information then slowly builds itself up and, when the final bit of data bypasses the firewall, it launches onto your network.

As there are a number of ways to infect your network it is important to protect it and block out every possible threat. The best way to do this is to sit down and talk about healthcare information security with an IT security service provider such as Charlotte IT Solutions. Each office needs to have its own defense as there is never a one-size-fits-all approach.

Medical Devices

As technology improves so too does your reliance on it. Chances are in just the last few years alone you’ve started to access client records on tablets and your smartphones, and you may have other systems, depending on the kind of healthcare service your business provides, connected to the Internet or a cloud network.

No matter what kind of device it is, whether it is a traditional, Internet-connected device, or an Internet of Things (IoT) device, such as a dental scanner, X-ray machine, or anything else that connects to the Internet to share data, all of this equipment is a potential target.

In fact, IoT devices have become a top target for skilled hackers. This is because IoT devices often do not receive the same kind of security protection as a computer or tablet. Yet, as it is connected to your cloud network, a hacker can basically wiggle through the backdoor of your security and into the network through the IoT device.

In order to prevent this, it is of critical importance to protect not only your devices such as a computer or tablet but your IoT devices as well. The best way to do this is to have a complete tech audit of your office. This will help identify vulnerabilities within your office. From there, an IT security provider can help pinpoint the best ways to go about protecting your business. After all, your IT security is only as strong as the weakest link.

HIPAA Compliance

Patient data security is of high priority throughout the industry. That is why there are HIPAA Compliance regulations designed for consumer safety. Healthcare information security is, in many ways, more vital than any other industry, as it not only contains financial records of a patient but their extensive medical background. It is important for your healthcare office to remain HIPAA compliant as this will help nullify many of the top data security risks.

In order to not only meet but surpass the HIPAA Compliance requirements, it is important to stay on top of your data security. With every software update or a new piece of equipment, you put the data of your office and that of your patients at risk. In order to maintain the highest level of security possible, you need to have a system in place that helps upgrade and update your system whenever new software or hardware comes into the office. Even something as simple as an operating system update can expose cracks in your security system, which puts your office at risk.

It is extremely easy to fall behind on your security protocol, all without knowing you have fallen behind. Should you fall behind it is possible an external threat has already started to siphon off secure documents without you even knowing about it. To avoid this kind of situation, you need to partner with an IT security service provider that not only offers top of the line security measures but is well versed in the world of healthcare information security. Protecting a healthcare service provider is, in many ways, different from all other lines of work.

Protect Your Business And Your Patients With The Right Healthcare IT Security

The importance of data security in healthcare needs to be a top priority for your facility. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in the IT department of a hospital or run a small doctor’s office, protecting the data of your facility and your clients is vital. These are only a handful of the top IT security threats out there. In reality, there are hundreds, many of which are going to target your business because of the valuable information it has on hand. In order to best know what you can do about safeguarding your company data, now is the time to reach out to Charlotte IT Solutions for a complete security auditing and consultation to help identify the best ways to protect your business.