Importance of Enhanced Data Security in the Healthcare Industry
The cost of any data breach can be detrimental, especially when it touches on critical systems and industries like healthcare. Breached healthcare data has proved to be the most problematic in the recent past as more hospitals focus their cybersecurity efforts on bolstering their ‘patient first’ data.
Enhanced data security is critical in maintaining absolute customer trust as well as organizational health. You can now become a hearing aid provider without worrying about your data being leaked. The Phonak team works with you for the long term by providing you with training and marketing support through advanced audiology data. They provide the necessary intellectual resources for all hearing care partners using enhanced data security systems.
The motive behind stealing and selling medical data can be difficult to understand. But it is evident that cybercriminals invest a lot of energy and resources into attaining these records. So, what can be done about it?
1. Providing the Right Resources
Simple mistakes are some of the biggest reasons why dangerous security breaches occur. A cybercriminal can, for example, send your staff shady emails that look personal and realistic that prompt you to engage with them. That is why healthcare officials need to have the proper computer literacy training required to maintain enhanced data security.
It is important to prioritize security awareness by giving your staff and everyone else the same level of computer understanding for the job. On the same note, you must educate your staff on how to create difficult and impossible to guess passwords for healthcare applications and devices. This could be the difference between exposing your data to a security breach and protecting it.
2. Restrict Access to Certain Data, Applications, and Resources
Be sure that your staff has access to only the information they absolutely need to handle certain tasks. Access control allows you to give digital access to the right staff members and limit unauthorized access to critical health records and resources.
After all, there’s really no reason to give all your healthcare staff members access to everything. It is important to make sure that unauthorized personnel cannot access your database, which can be detrimental.
3. Monitor and Log Usage
Logging data access and usage is another effective method of protecting your patient’s information. Healthcare records are highly sensitive data. And that’s why monitoring who has access to what information and applications from where and on what device is critical.
You must always have a handle on how your data is shared and accessed. This is critical in providing the necessary information in case of a data breach. You can take the necessary steps to improve your cybersecurity.
4. Encrypting Data
While data access and usage are critical in protecting health records, you also want to protect your data from unauthorized access. Encrypting your patient’s records ensures that only staff members with the access code or passphrase can access sensitive information.
Encrypting your health records will give you peace of mind knowing that even if your data falls into the wrong hands, the bad actors won’t be able to access the data.
5. Two-Factor Authentication
Similar to encrypting data, the two-factor authenticator provides you with one-time passwords needed to access your patient’s data.
Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your data security system. These systems don’t need an internet connection, thereby preventing the OTP passwords from being intercepted. It enhances data security for your hardware and software systems by ensuring only the authorized staff can access patients’ health records.
6. Securing Hospital Devices
Mobile devices and tablets also play a critical role in enhancing data security. Today, healthcare providers can access data on their mobile phones and tablets, allowing them to make critical decisions in record time. However, this also means that these devices must be secured and encrypted to prevent possible breaches from hackers.
Once again, you need a strong and unique password to protect your data. The same applies to encrypting application data on mobile devices as well as taking other preventive measures to enhance data security.
7. Reducing Connected Device Risks
This applies to the number of devices that can connect to your database and access your patients’ health records. Connected devices come in all kinds of forms today. In healthcare, everything from blood pressure monitors to cameras used to monitor the premises and other medical devices can be connected to the main network.
It is incredibly important to make sure that only the necessary devices are connected to your main network and that you restrict any unauthorized devices from accessing that network.
8. Conducting Regular Risk Assessments
Regular data security risk assessments in healthcare can also help you identify weak areas in your organization’s security systems. Risk assessments also analyze systems that show shortcomings like staff education and other potential concerns.
Therefore, it is important to regularly conduct risk assessments to ensure that your organization is protected and that there are no possible loopholes that can leave you vulnerable.
9. Use Off-Site Backup
You never know when a cybercriminal might attack your systems and succeed in doing so. If by chance, your data security systems don’t manage to identify and stop a data breach in time, you still want to remain operational to keep your organization afloat.
Installing an off-site backup system allows you to backup and safely restore all your healthcare records and remain operational from another location.
10. Evaluate Business Associate Compliance
Evaluating your staff is another critical data security measure to make sure that everyone is keeping up-to-date with the security protocols in place. It is crucial to ensure that all business associates are implementing the same security measures to keep the organization safe from cyber-attacks.
Enhanced data security in healthcare facilities has never been more important. When data breaches are exploited, you could leave your patient’s personal health records exposed, which can negatively affect your patients who rely heavily on your services.
Therefore, while data security is unique and quite extensive, it has never been more important in ensuring complete and total security in healthcare.