Healthcare cyberattacks are frighteningly common and on the rise. US healthcare breaches rose from 386 in 2019 to 599 in 2020, and show no evidence of slowing down.
So, how can you ensure effective and secure patient data protection? You’ve come to the right place.
Check out these five ways to protect your patient data from cybersecurity threats and risks.
1. Encrypt Your Patient Data
Encrypting data, while not required by HIPAA regulations, is an effective safeguard of patient data. It protects against the theft of data by hackers as they don’t have access to the encryption key. It also limits access to data for staff members.
By encrypting data, even if hackers gain access to the information, they won’t be able to decipher it or use it maliciously. You’ll have to choose the encryption method that is most suitable for your organization and workflow.
2. Limit Access to Data
Access controls across your organization are an effective way to protect against cyberattacks. At the end of the day, only the users who really require the information to do their jobs should have access to it. Only authorized users should be able to access patient data.
You’ll use multi-factor authentication to secure the data and use a password, card, or key to gain access.
3. Conduct Risk Analysis
It’s important to conduct a periodic risk analysis to check up on administrative, technical, and physical safeguards. This is not a one-off procedure, but rather an ongoing process to ensure security. It’s the best way to ensure your current system is always up-to-date.
By doing this you can track the probability of risks and work to mitigate them. You can also maintain current safeguards and adapt, improve, or add more where necessary.
You can then use the information from your risk analysis to create a risk management policy that is realistic and effective.
4. Ensure HIPAA Compliance
HIPAA is a privacy law that manages the flow of health and medical records and patient data. The law standardizes procedures to handle medical information in order to reduce the risk of fraud and abuse. It’s also a form of cybersecurity.
It’s important that your organization complies with HIPAA regulations to avoid fines for violation and ensure patient data protection. Ensure that you use a HIPAA compliant business phone, among other regulation practices.
5. Train Your Staff
Unfortunately, a lot of health data breaches occur because of human error and negligence. The positive note is that these can be avoided by having strong employee education standards and training.
The training should include HIPPA compliance standards and violations as well as education concerning common cyberattacks, such as phishing. These attacks target employees, so it’s important that employees know how to safeguard patient records against attacks.
Secure Patient Data Today
Protecting patient data should be of utmost concern to any healthcare organization. Are you taking the right steps to make sure that your patients’ data is protected by the highest HIPAA and security standards? Use these five tips to up your security today.
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