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Beyond HIPAA Compliance: Preventing Security Breaches in Healthcare

Healthcare facilities can easily become the victims of cyber attacks. The industry holds large quantities of valuable patient data and information, including payment information and the person’s social security number. If hackers gain access to the system, they could disrupt internal operations or hold this data for ransom. Healthcare facilities can’t afford to go offline even for just a few minutes. They need to access critical IT infrastructure 24/7 to keep patients safe from harm. Even a minor outage or breach could put lives on the line.

The healthcare industry is no stranger to privacy. Many facilities focus on complying with the latest requirements under HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) but complying with these guidelines won’t help organizations protect themselves against new and emerging threats against the healthcare industry. Learn how to prevent data breaches in healthcare using the latest scanning technology.

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Securing Protected Health Information

Healthcare companies need to go beyond the guidelines outlined by HIPAA to protect sensitive patient data. This includes:

Creating a Security System Beyond Compliance

Facilities should invest in the latest automated scanning technology in addition to complying with HIPAA guidelines. These programs automatically scan assets for potential vulnerabilities while assessing the threat level, so the organization can remediate the threat by patching the system as soon as possible. The program will also generate visual graphs and reports that track the company’s security efforts over time. This technology reduces the organization’s dependence on manual vulnerability management practices that are ineffective and time consuming.

Investing in Workforce Training

Healthcare providers and administrators often lack the skills and knowledge needed to protect these assets from malware and potential hackers. However, the security team should take the time to educate staff on the potential severity of these threats. Many providers are often focused on not making medical errors, but this methodology should extend to the digital world as well. Staff members should learn how to practice good digital hygiene by avoiding links and messages containing malware.

Getting Buy-in from Healthcare Leadership

Everything starts at the top. Security leaders need to be able to communicate the value of their efforts to facility administrators and corporate leaders. It can be difficult to demonstrate the benefits of preventing attacks on the healthcare industry, especially if the company has never had to worry about cybersecurity before. The leaders need to understand why this technology is essential in today’s increasingly digital world.

Backing Up Data Early and Often

One of the best things healthcare companies can do to ward off a potential attack is to back up their data as often as possible. So much patient data is stored in the cloud or on third-party assets. If the network or software program were attacked, providers might not be able to perform essential tasks and services. If the company backs up this information on a secure server, it can quickly resume operations until the vulnerability can be resolved. The company may not have to pay the hackers a ransom if their data is stored in a safe location. However, there is still a chance the hackers could leak this information to the public or sell it to a third party for money.

The healthcare industry is full of valuable information that could be left vulnerable to hackers. Facilities large and small need to think beyond HIPAA compliance when it comes to data privacy and security by investing in automated Vulnerability Risk Management technology. Download the full HIPAA: Beyond Compliance report by NopSec today today to boost your vulnerability management practices and shift from the “Checklist Mentality” to “Beyond Compliance.”

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