Stop insider threats within healthcare organizations

Insider threats are anyone within your organization who has knowledge of your computer systems and who can expose your data. They can be any of your current or former associates, contractors, or employees. Insider threats are a major risk to any company, including those in the healthcare sector. Let’s take a look at five ways through which you can protect your healthcare company’s data from breaches and loss caused by them.

Educate

All healthcare employees must be educated on patient privacy, data security, and the risks associated with certain behaviors. They must also be aware of allowable uses and disclosures of protected health information (PHI). For example, some healthcare personnel may be tempted to peek into the medical records of a celebrity admitted to their hospital. You must emphasize that such behavior is strictly forbidden and that it carries corresponding penalties.

Deter

Develop and enforce policies aimed at reducing the risk of data leaks. Make sure your employees understand the repercussions of violations and privacy breaches under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Discussing patients or PHI in public areas of the hospital, for example, can result in hefty penalties and criminal charges leading to jail time.

Detect

Healthcare organizations should implement technology that can quickly identify breaches. They also need to ensure that only authorized personnel are accessing sensitive patient data. This can be accomplished by regularly checking user access logs, as well as consistently monitoring and updating access controls. Any attempt by unauthorized personnel to access data must be penalized.

Investigate

To limit its impact, any potential privacy and security breach must be investigated promptly and thoroughly upon detection. Once the cause of the breach is identified, your organization needs to implement measures to keep breaches from happening in the future.

Train

Healthcare employees must regularly undergo comprehensive cybersecurity training, as this will turn them into an effective first line of defense against various cyber risks, including insider threats. Just because the members of your team were oriented on data privacy and security-related topics during their first day on the job doesn’t mean you should be complacent. Cybersecurity risks continue to evolve, so it pays to be vigilant and to keep your team’s knowledge updated at all times.

Encourage your IT department to provide various tips across a wide variety of cybersecurity-related topics throughout the year. Using different types of media, such as emails, printed newsletters, infographics, and even memos, to deliver these tips will make them easier to understand and keep in mind for your employees.

Protecting healthcare data from insider threats is more than just about staying compliant with industry regulations. It’s also vital to protecting the privacy of your patients and your staff, as well as the reputation of your healthcare organization.

For more information about the different ways you can keep your healthcare data secure, just give our experts a call.

This post was originally published on this site

Stop insider threats within healthcare organizations

Insider threats are anyone within your organization who has knowledge of your computer systems and who can expose your data. They can be any of your current or former associates, contractors, or employees. Insider threats are a major risk to any company, including those in the healthcare sector. Let’s take a look at five ways through which you can protect your healthcare company’s data from breaches and loss caused by them.

Educate

All healthcare employees must be educated on patient privacy, data security, and the risks associated with certain behaviors. They must also be aware of allowable uses and disclosures of protected health information (PHI). For example, some healthcare personnel may be tempted to peek into the medical records of a celebrity admitted to their hospital. You must emphasize that such behavior is strictly forbidden and that it carries corresponding penalties.

Deter

Develop and enforce policies aimed at reducing the risk of data leaks. Make sure your employees understand the repercussions of violations and privacy breaches under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Discussing patients or PHI in public areas of the hospital, for example, can result in hefty penalties and criminal charges leading to jail time.

Detect

Healthcare organizations should implement technology that can quickly identify breaches. They also need to ensure that only authorized personnel are accessing sensitive patient data. This can be accomplished by regularly checking user access logs, as well as consistently monitoring and updating access controls. Any attempt by unauthorized personnel to access data must be penalized.

Investigate

To limit its impact, any potential privacy and security breach must be investigated promptly and thoroughly upon detection. Once the cause of the breach is identified, your organization needs to implement measures to keep breaches from happening in the future.

Train

Healthcare employees must regularly undergo comprehensive cybersecurity training, as this will turn them into an effective first line of defense against various cyber risks, including insider threats. Just because the members of your team were oriented on data privacy and security-related topics during their first day on the job doesn’t mean you should be complacent. Cybersecurity risks continue to evolve, so it pays to be vigilant and to keep your team’s knowledge updated at all times.

Encourage your IT department to provide various tips across a wide variety of cybersecurity-related topics throughout the year. Using different types of media, such as emails, printed newsletters, infographics, and even memos, to deliver these tips will make them easier to understand and keep in mind for your employees.

Protecting healthcare data from insider threats is more than just about staying compliant with industry regulations. It’s also vital to protecting the privacy of your patients and your staff, as well as the reputation of your healthcare organization.

For more information about the different ways you can keep your healthcare data secure, just give our experts a call.

This post was originally published on this site

Safeguard PHI with these tips

Because healthcare organizations handle protected health information (PHI), they are a prime target for hackers. Stolen PHI can be used to carry out a host of fraudulent activities, which is why businesses in healthcare must be extra vigilant when it comes to cybersecurity. To prevent data breaches and keep PHI secure, follow these best practices.

Educate your staff

A comprehensive data security training program is necessary to combat ever-evolving threats to the healthcare industry. Training should be done regularly and cover all the different areas of data security, including the different data breach methods employed by hackers. For instance, your employees should be educated on how to spot phishing attacks, which are the number one cause of data breaches, according to the 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report. Understanding how phishing works will help your employees recognize and avoid falling victim to such scams.

Enforce strict access policies

Implement access restriction policies to keep unauthorized users from getting their hands on PHI. This entails granting employees access to only the PHI they need to perform their tasks. For instance, accountants should not have access to data about patients’ health conditions. Similarly, physicians shouldn’t be able to see patients’ billing information.

Healthcare executives must also hold employees accountable for accessing PHI for no valid reason. Together with regular cybersecurity training, this will minimize the risk of data breaches resulting from insider threats.

Employ full-disk encryption

Full-disk encryption is an inexpensive and quick method to secure private information saved in computers and portable devices. It renders data indecipherable to users who don’t possess the matching decryption key. This means that even if one of your employees’ laptop or smartphone is lost or stolen, the thief won’t be able to access any encrypted PHI stored in it.

Build a resilient infrastructure

Malware is a blanket term for viruses, Trojans, and other harmful programs that cybercriminals use to damage systems and gain access to sensitive data. To ensure the security of PHI, your healthcare organization must build an IT infrastructure that is protected against malware of all kinds.

This involves setting up safeguards to keep malware and other threats at bay, such as advanced firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, and email filtering software. You should also consider network segregation and segmentation to block hackers’ attempts to penetrate your networks and steal PHI data.

If malware does manage to infiltrate your network, stop it from spreading by deploying next-gen anti-malware software that can detect and quarantine any signs of a breach. If such systems fail, you’d also need a data backup and recovery plan so you can continue caring for your patients even during a major incident.

Implement physical security measures

Many healthcare organizations still rely on paper-based PHI and store these in file cabinets. Secure these valuable assets by installing physical security controls, such as surveillance cameras and card entry systems, in the areas of your facility where records are stored. You should also implement strict record log-out procedures, which will help ensure that only authorized personnel can access records that contain sensitive data and that these are returned promptly.

To learn more about how you can secure PHI and other digital assets, drop us a line today. Our team of professionals can provide you with the knowledge and assistance you need.

This post was originally published on this site