CYBER SECURITY FOR HEALTHCARE ORGANIZATIONS

In today’s world, digital solutions are becoming increasingly standardized and the threats more global. Providers are a very real target of ransomware pirates. Medical and billing records are a frequent target for identity theft.

Even unintended data breaches could result in HIPAA compliance issues and/or incur legal action.

At HealthTECH Resources, we specialize in solutions that help to keep you in compliance and out of the headlines. The best security is proactive and ever vigilant, yet responsive enough to quickly take action against immediate and emerging threats. We can help tailor personalized solutions that protect your organization’s data and maintain patient confidentiality.

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EHR Cyber Security Concerns

In February 2022, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department noted how healthcare information is the most valuable type for cyber attackers to steal. Healthcare technology provides criminals with more breached data than other sources—profitable to people who sell the information on the black market or dark web.

Plus, the cost of a single data breach continues to climb. In 2020, a healthcare organization, on average, would pay $7.13 million from the fallout. In 2021, the average amount was $9.23 million. These costs don’t take into account all the wasted time, frustration, and—most important of all—damage that occurs to a healthcare organization’s reputation when data is stolen. It doesn’t take into account the challenges that medical professionals and their patients will face when data is tampered with and/or destroyed.

Threats come from phishing, encryption blind spots, malware, ransomware attacks, and cloud threats. Plus, employees who don’t follow best practices (or worse) also contribute to your healthcare organization’s vulnerability. This can happen when they don’t have enough training to proficiently use the technology, among other possibilities—and all of these problems are amplified with out-of-date systems or where security wasn’t prioritized as a core element of the technology.

EHR Cyber Security Solutions

The process of strengthening your EHR technology’s security has five steps:

  1. Analyzing your current system
  2. Creating InfoSec recommendations
  3. Implementing your information security plan
  4. Training employees on best practices
  5. Monitoring your technology/updating as needed

Analyzing Your Current System

Conduct a thorough analysis of your EHR technology to discover where any flaws, gaps, or other vulnerabilities exist. This also includes a review of how your healthcare employees use the system. As part of this analysis, consider what data breaches hurt your healthcare organization in the past, if any, and what you did to boost EHR cyber security. How much did those actions help? What breaches occurred in the industry that didn’t hurt your system? Why do you think your EHR system was protected or avoided hacking?

Creating InfoSec Recommendations

InfoSec stands for “information security,” a broad term that covers actions taken to protect technology. An important segment of InfoSec are the cyber security solutions implemented to protect confidential information against hacking. Highly effective InfoSec recommendations take into account the CIA triad: confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

The information security policy (ISP) you create must keep sensitive data—ranging from patient information to financial information—confidential. The ISP must protect the integrity of the data while also keeping it accessible to people who need the information.

Implementing Your Information Security Plan

Once your ISP is complete and approved, then it’s time to implement the policy. The technical aspects can require EHR expertise with this investment helping to protect your healthcare organization against costly data breaches. A well-crafted ISP will provide protection against phishing schemes, malware, and more happening today while also helping to future-proof the EHR system. Hackers who profit from stolen data are highly motivated to keep creating workarounds to breach systems, so an ISP must be future-forward, as well.

Training Employees on Best Practices

The best technology and ISP won’t be fully effective until end users optimally navigate the applications. When ISPs are well constructed and followed, this can significantly enhance the amount of protection a healthcare organization has against increasingly expensive data breaches. The best ISPs protect data while still making daily usage seamless and practical.

So, as part of your InfoSec plan, communicate your ISP to your employees along with why the policies were created and how they’ll protect everyone. Explaining the “why” can help to boost buy-in.

Monitoring Your Technology/Updating as Needed

After you’ve implemented your enhanced EHR cyber security plan and trained end-users, monitor the effectiveness of your ISP. Is it keeping sensitive data safe and secure while still making that information readily available to medical teams and other people who need access?

Tweaks and workarounds for exceptions that you discover in real-life implementation of your ISP may need to be made. Then, as new threats emerge, analyze how well the ISP is holding up and determine if any upgrades are necessary.

EHR Cyber Security Counseling

Protecting your confidential data is not a one-and-done activity—and, when not fully up to date on your InfoSec, your healthcare organization is more vulnerable to data damage, theft, and even destruction. In the hustle and bustle of providing healthcare, though, it can be difficult to put the necessary emphasis on cyber security solutions.

At HealthTECH Resources, we provide experienced EHR professionals who can take you from start to finish with your cyber security: from analyzing your current system to creating an ISP, implementing the plan, training end-users, and monitoring and supporting you all the way.

Depending on the skills and bandwidth of your in-house IT team, your healthcare organization may need to fill in staffing gaps or may want to outsource the entire ISP project. In either case, we have exactly the right experts. They’ll devise strategies to protect your sensitive data’s confidentiality and integrity while allowing seamless access to those in appropriate role-based positions.

Contact HealthTECH for EHR Cyber Security Consultants

We will augment your staff with experts possessing precisely the knowledge you require, including specialists that are certified in the top medical records systems, including:

Our experts are available as consultants—or, if you prefer, as contract-to-hire professionals or permanent placements. No matter which route you go, experts from our deep and wide network will work collaboratively with you to understand your EHR system and security threats. Using these insights, they can strengthen your EHR software to protect its valuable data.

To discuss your needs or to get started, we invite you to contact us online or to call us at (602) 806-8949.

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