How to Avoid Healthcare Data Breaches With Data Encryption

Reported in 2020, over 81% of the American population had data exposed through a healthcare data breach. If that number disturbs you, it should.

Ethically, you are required to protect patient information. And even though you may be liable for damages, your professional brand will suffer a major blow if patrons can't see you as responsible with their data. 

People come to be helped, not harmed by potential healthcare data breaches. Here we'll cover what you need to know about improving healthcare security and what to do if you've recently experienced a breach.

How Do Data Breaches Occur?

Looking at the previous statistic, the top four hacks of patient care data occurred through hacking or an IT incident. This should indicate that most healthcare providers have weak infrastructure and education to combat cybercrime.

Create a Cybersecurity Plan

A cybersecurity plan starts, first and foremost, amongst your primary team members. And it's rather simple to accomplish.

This step requires you and your team to understand why additional security measures are required. Keenly, it's to protect patients' health information. Second, it's because this information is often lost due to laziness or negligence.

Cybersecurity Education

Education comes through a few key steps.

First, add two-factor authentication for devices and accounts that have access to private patient information.

Two-factor authentication makes it much harder for hackers to get into personal data. On top of needing a password, they'll need the person's phone or email account to access the private account.

Yes, it takes an extra bit of time, each time, to log in. Yes, it is worth it for saving people's info.

Second, instill mandatory password updates. Depending on your team's schedule, these can be frequent updates, mandating monthly or even weekly refreshes.

These refreshes can also are longer, such as quarterly or six-month rotations.

The important part is that the passwords are changed often so that if any encryption is broken, the key to get in has already changed, making it useless.

Passwords need to be strong for healthcare security. Adding punctuation markers, numbers, and capitalized letters increases the difficulty for hackers attempting to break down your security.

Finally, teach your team how to spot hacking and phishing scams. Hackers change their methods often; keep on top of these changes or have an IT professional educate your team.

IT Encryption

While the latter is possible through your immediate team, an IT professional is required here. Proper encryption transforms your data into a string of impossible variables to imprint without a specific key or password.

Hiring pros who can ensure the key regularly changes and helps educate your team is vital to maintaining healthcare security.

Suffered a Data Breach?

If your team has suffered a breach, you're responsible for sharing that information with those whose data you've lost. Though different states have different timelines, hiding this information is a big no-no.

Once you're alerted to a data breach, shut everything down until you find where the breach came from. IT professionals can ensure you find the source and plug it up so it doesn't happen again.

Prevent Healthcare Data Breaches

You do not want to be responsible for one of the many healthcare data breaches. As the numbers continue to skyrocket, it's clear that professionals who invest in their cybersecurity will be rewarded with happier patients and customers.

And we can help. Located in Plymouth Meeting, PA, we offer a wealth of services and resources that will protect the data of your patients from hackers and thieves.

Our technological expertise and extensive experience allow us to work with virtually any system, enabling you to meet your specific goals and objectives–no matter how complex they may be. We pride ourselves on offering sophisticated solutions that other, smaller IT firms simply cannot offer, outfitting your company with a reliable support system as your needs expand and evolve. Alura Business Solutions provide services including but not limited to: Carrier Solutions, Bandwidth Solutions, Phone Solutions, Wiring Solutions, Client Access IT Solutions. 

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