How to maximize healthcare IT security in 6 steps

Almost every industry is susceptible to cybercrime, however the medical sector arguably faces the most risk.

Patient health data sells for more money than any other kind of information on the black market according to the Ponemon Institute, and ransomware has emerged as a highly effective hacking method, allowing cybercriminals to easily infiltrate a network, access and copy patient data, and keep that data inaccessible until a ransom is paid. HIPAA, HITECH and cloud-based technologies aim to help medical organizations remain secure, however often the resources and infrastructure they require lead to further stress and complexity.

No matter the size or resources of your medical practice, it's critical to remain proactive and vigilant when it comes to cybersecurity, because every organization is a potential target. To protect your business, staff and patients from malicious hackers and remain continually compliant, consider the following six cybersecurity best practices:

  1. Duplicate Storage
    Given the enormous amount of data medical practices produce, cloud technology can be an ideal storage resource, offering infinite scalability and relative affordability. However as widespread data breaches and natural disasters have demonstrated, it's critical to separate valuable healthcare data from cloud data centers so that at least one copy of the data remains intact in the event of a security incident. Use cloud technology to replicate and store your data, and make sure a replica of that data is stored offline via encrypted backup tapes.
  2. Protect Biomedical Devices
    If your medical practice houses any biomedical devices that are connected to the internet, such as MRIs or insulin pumps, you could be providing cybercriminals an easy entry point for commandeering the device and stealing its data, including patient records. Thankfully, biomedical device vendors are required by law to help medical organizations reach HIPAA compliance, even if their products are already FDA-approved. So consult with your vendors to ensure their products are compliant, and work with them to make adjustments if any cybersecurity gaps remain.

To read the full article, head over to Becker's Hospital Review.

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