October 24, 2017 0 News & Blogs

Ways to Avoid Healthcare Data Breaches

Cybercrimes targeting healthcare organizations are on the rise, putting organizations at risk of data breaches that can add up to big fines. Protecting health data is proving to be a challenge for healthcare organizations. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HSS), the number of data breaches reported in 2017 have nearly doubled since last year.

For organizations across the healthcare industry, protecting health data is proving to be increasingly challenging. Here are some facts about healthcare data breaches as reported by the US Department of Health and Human Services, followed by some tips to help leverage technology to protect your patients.

Data Breach Facts:

235
major breaches of unsecured patient information have been reported, an 85% increase from last year.
109
of the 235 reported breeches were due to a ‘hacking/IT incident’, a 95% increase from last year.

$23.5
million in settlement payments were made in 2016
$14.7
million in settlement payments have been made in 2017 so far

How can technology help you protect patient information?

  1. Cyber Security Education for Staff – human error remains the number one threat to cybersecurity. Training equips healthcare employees with the skills and knowledge to appropriately handle patient data.
  2. Access Restriction – require user authentication, such as two-factor authentication, to ensure that only authorized users can access protected data.
  3. Data Usage Controls – use data controls to block specific actions involving sensitive data, such as web uploads, unauthorized email sends, copying to external drives, or printing.
  4. Data Encryption – Encryption is one of the most useful data protection methods for healthcare organizations.
  5. Securing Mobile Devices – maintaining security settings and configurations, enabling remote lock and wipe and enforcement of device-level passwords.
  6. Off-Site Backup – cyberattacks not only expose sensitive patient information, they can also compromise data integrity or availability. Frequent off-site backups with strict controls for data encryption, access, and adherence are essential.

CompassMSP provides HIPAA compliant IT solutions for numerous healthcare organizations. We recognize what’s at stake for healthcare providers, and we make it our priority to protect our healthcare clients with a multi-layered security approach that’s secure and HIPAA compliant.