Top Ways Organizations Can Safeguard Healthcare Data

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Top Ways Organizations Can Safeguard Healthcare Data

CISOs need to keep in mind a couple of things while protecting healthcare data.

There has been a significant increase in the hacking of healthcare data. A recent study by Trustwave notes healthcare records are worth more than $250 each on the Dark Web. This is mainly because healthcare records contain private information including banking and credit card data.

According to Verizon’s 2016 and 2019 data breach report, a threefold increase was seen in both the number of data incidents and the number of actual data breaches from those incidents. Verizon’s 2020 report also showed a whopping 71% increase in a healthcare data breach. Hence, it is crucial to have the highest security standards, if organizations are keeping sensitive healthcare information.

Here are some of the top ways to organizations that can protect healthcare data and reduce hacking incidents.

Be ready to combat hacking and breach

It is important for security teams to detect the attack as early as possible and ensure a minimum loss. As per experts, the healthcare industry typically prioritizes preventing data hacks instead of detecting them. This puts organizations in a defensive and weak position. A fine balance between prevention, detection, and containment should be maintained by companies. Moreover, it is essential to proactively build security firewalls and implement detective controls and response mechanisms. It is important to know a breach has occurred in real-time and being ready with a plan to contain them followed by a set of recovery measures.

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A step further from HIPAA

It is good that organizations complying with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Trust (HITRUST) Alliance. However, they need to go a step further than these regulations as they establish only the minimum requirements for compliance with the federal rules. Today, people are concerned about the protection of their individually identifiable healthcare information and expect organizations to go beyond the basic requirement by law to protect that information.

Prioritize cyber hygiene

One of the top reasons systems get hacked is the lack of employee diligence. It is important for employees to be aware of phishing attempts and suspicious emails related to COVID-19. It’s a dangerous time for healthcare information leaks and the integrity of the organizations entrusted with it. Focus on employee training and awareness about cyber-attacks and phishing attempts. Employees need to maintain good cyber hygiene along with socially engineering standards.

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The COVID-10 pandemic has changed workplaces and work habits permanently. Remote work and less populated offices will be part of that future new normal. It is the right time to evaluate and assess measures to protect healthcare data.