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How to Counter Health Data Security Breaches

There is neither limit nor end to cyber attacks. Its victims can be anyone – be it an individual or an organization. The level of difficulty to prevent these catastrophes is high. The moment business fights back to prevent cyber breaches, the more efficient hackers become and find alternative ways to counter security blocks.

However, it’s not impossible to deflect these breaches. With advanced security tactics, cybersecurity can be enhanced to tackle the threats that these hackers pose and hence develop a sturdy line of defense.

Today, healthcare organizations have moved towards digitalization, leveraging technology to upgrade their health services. This has attracted cybercriminals to exploit health data security weaknesses, making it the most targeted sector for cyberattacks.

According to HIPPA, between 2009 and 2018, more than 59% of the US population faced security breaches, causing a grave concern for the health sector.

hiipa journal


Why Healthcare Industry is Constantly Victimized

Health organizations constantly face security challenges because of the inherent weaknesses in their system. One reason for healthcare sector being frequently targeted includes the fact that the healthcare sector has amassed sensitive data which includes confidential health information and financial data that is appealing for the hackers.

Healthcare organizations have a complicated and scattered IT infrastructure with their proprietary medical devices and legacy systems. This makes it difficult to secure them quickly so they are left vulnerable for long periods of time.

Also, in order to focus more on saving lives of their patients, the medical faculties end up relying on systems to keep track of important information. This is one of the easiest and obvious ways hackers can breach the health data security and exploit a large amount of information with ease and in less time.

According to a report by Verizon Data Breach Investigation, it has been found that attacks caused by outsiders were of 73 percent and it takes several months before they can detect 68 percent of these breaches.

Some of these cyber attacks are often done from within the facility. No doubt it will take a lot of drastic measures to counter the problems in healthcare security but there are technologies emerging that can help you easily identify and instantly remediate the problems.

How to Fix Security Breaches

Here are some ways health organizations can ensure their health data security is not compromised.

Educate Your Faculty Members

Your employees are the knights of your healthcare system. You can teach them how to handle the threats that may come their way. It is possible that they don’t realize it but they might be accidently allowing security to be breached.

One way of data leakage if the hospital management opens phish or spam emails. Also, when they end up clicking some anonymous link on the computer, all the configured data of patients becomes available to hackers. Hackers can easily creep into the system, crack the security codes and steal valuable information.

In order to avoid such problems, educating healthcare staff not to respond to anonymous emails or web links is important to secure the networks. Human error must be avoided at all costs.

Protect Your Devices and Secure Your Networks

Leaving technological devices unattended or a failure to neglect using them properly are some of the other ways security breaches occur. Hackers can make use of these opportunities to invade the system.

Also, using common passwords makes it easier for hackers to predict the kind of passwords you use and with their hacking abilities, cyber attacking will be a piece of cake for them.

Furthermore, every public place offers a wireless router, and a hospital is no different – they make it easy to access the internet no matter if you’re in the building or just outside it. Unfortunately, as easily accessible as it is for you, it’s also available to potential hackers. They could be sitting outside the hospital and easily crack into the security system and steal any information in a minutes.

For safeguarding the patients’ data, it is important to use encryption. It is recommended to encrypt patient’s information so that it is difficult to decode and is not easily accessed. However, encryption protocols are a costly method to secure healthcare data.

Also, updating wireless routers and encouraging healthcare management to frequently change the passwords is an option to avoid data hacks.

Enhance Monitoring Process

Monitoring the systems is going to provide you with less chances of a security breach. In order to protect patients’ valuable and confidential information, consider a biometric authentication process. This ensures a stringent access and it’s easy to identify the users.

This will also ensure a system maintaining proper flow of information. Through the use of fingerprints, retinal and voice scanners, it can really help to identify with whom the private information is being shared with.

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