Protecting Healthcare Data in 2015
Hacker attacks increased greatly in terms of both size and scope over the course of 2014., especially in the case of financial entities.
As internet-connected devices and tools (like fitness bands, hospital portals, electronic health records, health information exchanges, insurance networks, etc.) continue to grow in popularity, security protected health information (PHI) poses an ever greater challenge.
Cyber attacks can effect healthcare data even when not aimed specifically at healthcare organizations. Take for example the recent, massive attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment during which, according to Krebs on Security, cyberthieves stole troves of employee healthcare information.
According to a recent report from the EMC’s Digital Universe report, up to 90% of digital information such as claims requests, PHI, and EMR requires additional protection. Healthcare companies continue to ignore the dangers of the digital environment they occupy, evidenced by the fact that only 57% of data receives adequate protection; that means 43% of data is insufficiently secured. The main task for IT specialists in the healthcare sphere is to balance the recognized need for urgent access to medical data against growing security concerns. Organizations can protect medical data by prioritizing the implementation of additional security measures. Even the simple addition of a button or input field could protect a patient’s data from theft.
In 2015, special attention should be paid to:
1. Accountability. The head of IT in a healthcare organization should be responsible for the safety of that company’s data. Hiring an unskilled or inexperienced person could prove disastrous for big and small companies alike, as well as for their customers. Because the stakes are so high, it’s important for organizations to have an absolutely reliable person in charge of their IT.
2. Signed agreements. All parties providing for the storage, transfer, or analysis of PHI must meet all HIPAA and other security guidelines. This includes, but is not limited to, NDAs.
3. The protection of all mobile internet-connected applications. The improvements mobile applications bring to healthcare come at a cost, as the data they generate and store is often vulnerable to hacking. According to Arxan’s State of mobile app security, around 90% of mobile apps have been hacked. Archer Software, on the other hand, has a history of developing safe healthcare-based mobile apps, like our online health tracking app.
4. Technology. Software development should be entrusted to reliable IT companies with a proven track record.
Archer Software has experience developing effective software solutions for healthcare companies, and has received consistently positive feedback from its clients. You can take a look at our full Healthcare portfolio here. Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information about how to protect your client’s medical data.