It’s no secret that data security is a top concern for healthcare organizations. Hospitals and clinics collect and store sensitive patient information, from medical records to financial data. If this information falls into the wrong hands, it could have devastating consequences.
That’s why it’s so important to have robust systems and procedures in place to protect patient data. From data security to SOX compliance with Pathlock, here are some ways that technology can help keep your patients’ data safe and secure.
Maintain Data Security
One of the most important things you can do to keep patient data safe is to maintain data security. Protect your network and systems from unauthorized access and ensure that only authorized users can access sensitive information.
Control Data Accessibility
Another way to keep patient data safe is to control accessibility. Healthcare providers need to be able to access patient data to provide care, but this doesn’t mean that everyone on your team needs access to everything.
You can control who has access to what information and when they can access it by using security measures like user authentication and role-based permissions. User authentication requires users to log in with a unique username and password. At the same time, role-based permissions allow you to control what different users can see and do within your system.
Your employees are the front line of defense when protecting patient data. They need to know how to identify and report security risks and follow best practices for handling sensitive information.
Train your employees on data security by providing them with educational materials, like e-learning modules or printed manuals. You should also hold regular training sessions to ensure that everyone on your team is up-to-date on your organization’s data security procedures.
Consider including your IT staff in these sessions to provide insights on the latest security threats and how to protect against them. Your IT department can also help troubleshoot any issues your team has with software and equipment.
Enable Device Encryption
Another way you can protect patient data is by enabling device encryption. This refers to the process of converting data into a code that authorized users can only decipher.
If a device like a laptop or a smartphone falls into the wrong hands, encryption will make it much more difficult for someone to access the sensitive information stored on it.
Several different encryption methods are available, so you’ll need to work with your IT team to choose the one that’s right for your organization.
Implement Endpoint Protection
Endpoint protection is another crucial security measure for healthcare organizations. Endpoint protection is the process of protecting all devices connected to your networks, like laptops, smartphones, and printers.
Several different endpoint protection solutions are available, from antivirus software to firewalls. Work with your IT team to choose the right solution for your organization.
Secure Networks and System
It’s important to have secure networks and systems to protect patient data. Ensure that your network is protected from unauthorized access and that your company complies with industry-specific regulations.
Instaling a firewall is one way to protect your network. You should also consider implementing a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt data as it’s transmitted across your network.
In securing your networks and systems, you must also ensure they comply with relevant regulations. For example, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires healthcare organizations to take specific steps to protect patient data.
SOX compliance with Pathlock
Pathlock is software that helps organizations comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). The SOX Act requires organizations to have strong internal controls to prevent financial fraud. SOX compliance with Pathlock is made easy by the software’s comprehensive security features.
Pathlock provides user authentication, role-based permissions, and auditing to help organizations control access to sensitive information. The software also includes encryption capabilities to protect data in transit.
There are many threats to patient data that healthcare organizations need to be aware of. These threats can come from both internal and external sources.
Internal vs. External
Internal threats typically come from employees who intentionally or accidentally misuse patient data. External threats can come from hackers who try to gain access to healthcare systems to steal data.
Cyber attacks are a significant concern for healthcare organizations. They can result in the theft or destruction of sensitive data. In some cases, attackers may also demand a ransom for not releasing the stolen data.
Ransomware is malware that encrypts files and demands a ransom to decrypt them. Hackers often target healthcare organizations with ransomware because they know that these organizations need access to their data to provide care.
WannaCry was a ransomware attack that affected over 150 countries in 2017. The attack affected many healthcare organizations, including the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).
Phishing is a type of cyber attack that involves sending fraudulent emails to trick victims into revealing sensitive information. Hackers often target healthcare organizations with phishing attacks because they know they handle large amounts of sensitive data.
Take Protective Measures
There are several measures healthcare organizations can take to protect themselves from digital data threats. These include:
- Educating employees about cyber security threats
- Implementing strong password policies
- Restricting access to sensitive data
- Using encryption to protect data in transit
- Deploying endpoint protection solutions
- Regularly backing up data
Healthcare organizations must be aware of the digital threats they face to protect patient data adequately. They need to also be diligent in taking measures to mitigate those threats. By working with IT and security experts, they can implement the right solutions to keep their data safe.