We live in an era where open information is underway in healthcare. In fact, we’ve already experienced years of progress regarding the digitization of medical records as organizations collect and combine decades of development data and research into electronic databases. In addition, public stakeholders like the government have also sped up the movement towards transparency by having stored data that are actionable, usable, and searchable by the industry in its entirety. Due to this, healthcare stakeholders have gained access to new and promising knowledge webs. And the information is referred to as big data because of its considerable volume and its timeliness, diversity, and complexity.
While it allows the industry to address concerns related to the variability in the quality and escalating spending of healthcare, care must still be taken. After all, security breaches and leaks could lead to the exposure of sensitive information, much like the ransomware attack last June, where over a million people were affected. With that said, we’ll talk about some tips for building a solid data security system so that you can avoid these kinds of problems from happening.
Implement levels and controls with data access
In typical hospital settings, patient information is regularly accessed by many medical providers. Doctors, technicians, and administrative staff require different access levels. After all, not everyone should be able to change or delete records. For this reason, the correct implementation of these permissions is essential, as it can mitigate losses of data, and keep the risks of unauthorized personnel from accessing the information at a minimum. Simple as it might appear to be, it’ll go a long way in elevating your HIPAA risk management plan.
Adhere to healthcare standards for data exchange
Specialized standards in data exchange like the FHIR and H7 aren’t just excellent solutions for interoperability challenges. They’re also developed to comply with medical software’s security needs. Therefore, incorporating them into your existing workflow is a good idea. However, be sure to do your due diligence and spend some time learning about the aforementioned standards first. Doing so will be helpful.
Secure mobile devices and IoT
With the advancements in the connectivity of devices, it’s only logical to look at them as potential security vulnerabilities. With complex equipment like an insulin pump that has its dedicated application or firmware, there is a chance cyber attackers could use them to breach the system. To ensure that this doesn’t happen, it’s good standard practice to ensure that IoT devices are managed on separate networks, and their activities are monitored accordingly.
Tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices equally deserve some attention. Be sure that they’re updated with all the latest patches in security. It will make a difference.
No one can deny that big data is driving many industries, and the healthcare sector is one that is increasingly relying on its use. However, you mustn’t remain complacent because it can backfire on you if you fail to address security concerns. So make sure you follow the tips listed above.