In the past, hospitals, clinics, and other medical institutions have focused on one thing and one thing only: Treating patients and helping them stay in the best of health. More recently, however, they’ve had to consider the implications of storing patient data and the risk this practice poses.
Fortunately, in this post, we explore a few strategies on how data breaches in healthcare organisations can be prevented.
ENCRYPTION IS AN EFFECTIVE WAY OF PROTECTING DATA AND HARDWARE
Encryption is the process of encoding information in a way that only allows authorised users to access it. While it doesn’t prevent interference, itself, what it does do is deny usable information from being accessed by third parties.
To prevent a data breach in healthcare organisations, this is one step that can be taken, which ensures effective results. No access to patient information, no data breach. In this process, other necessary components of healthcare systems like servers, medical devices, network endpoints and the like can also be encrypted for further protection.
HAVE A STRINGENT SYSTEM IN PLACE TO MANAGE DATA ACCESS
For day-to-day service delivery, healthcare staff need to access a swathe of patient records to ensure seamless service. This practice, however, poses a variety of risks, not least because a number of different users have access to confidential information.
To ensure that access is on a need-to-know basis, healthcare institutions must maintain meticulous records on who has access, when they access data, what type of data they look at, and, if possible, why. By providing each user with unique login details, this process is further strengthened, ensuring that each entry into the system is distinguishable.
Another step that goes a long way towards preventing a data breach in healthcare organisations is making sure that each member of staff only has access to information that’s strictly relevant to their job role. This way, highly sensitive information is restricted to those to whom it is most relevant, preventing data leaks significantly.
PROTECTING USER DEVICES LIKE LAPTOPS AND WORK MOBILES
Another major element of any healthcare organisation’s cybersecurity plan is making sure that user devices are well-protected. This not only includes ensuring that they’re not left unattended around clinics or hospitals, but that their systems are up-to-date and the organisation, itself, must lay down a few guidelines and provide resources in terms of effective cybersecurity software.
If certain institutions maintain a BYOD (bring your own device) policy, then it’s imperative to ensure that these devices are also equipped with the latest security software, are password-protected, and follow other organisational guidelines.
By consulting the right security professionals, these trainings should help employees make sense of the threats they face and provide practical advice that can be followed in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of medical service delivery.
In this process, conducting specialised training for medical security teams can go a long way towards keeping cybercriminals out and ensuring that internal practices are contributing to an established security strategy across the board.
PREVENT A DATA BREACH IN HEALTHCARE ORGANISATIONS WITH EFFECTIVE CYBERSECURITY POLICIES
Cybersecurity in the healthcare sector can no longer be an afterthought in organisations that are keen on providing cutting-edge service in this day and age. Given the spate of attacks targeting this industry, hospital, clinics, and other medical institutions need to pay heed to their cybersecurity strategies.
While this list is not exhaustive, the steps outlined above can prevent more basic attacks against your systems and set you on the right path for breach-free operations.