By Ed Simcox, Healthcare Practice Leader, Logicalis Healthcare Solutions
Cybersecurity is a significant issue in the healthcare field. Experts say there have been more than 30 million patient records stolen in the past year alone. Why? Because medical records are worth significantly more money on the black market – up to 20 times more than credit card information. Couple the advancing age and complexity of many healthcare organizations’ computer systems with the fact that there are stringent federal requirements for reporting breaches and large fines for non-compliance with industry regulations, and you have what amounts to the ‘perfect storm’ among healthcare providers and insurance companies handling this valuable data.
Because we live in an interconnected world, it’s really not a question of if a breach will occur, but when and how severe the attack will be. It’s critical for CIOs of healthcare providers and payers to provide strong organizational leadership to ensure data security is an enterprise-wide priority. CIOs must ensure risk assessments are conducted to identify all potential attack vectors and system vulnerabilities. Once security risks are identified, plans must be implemented to manage and mitigate them. There must be systems in place for early breach detection to prevent attacks from causing serious damage. Once an attack is detected, it’s important to quickly neutralize the threat and document the exploits used in the attack so that future breaches can be prevented. When an attack occurs, all records must be preserved in case the breach is subject to federal reporting requirements.
Even with the best planning, healthcare data systems won’t be bullet proof, but any breaches that do occur will be identified and thwarted faster, and the damage done will be lessened. At Logicalis, we coach our clients that security requires continual vigilance. Cybercriminals are smart, and they work around the clock. You have to do the same.
Want to learn more about healthcare IT? Explore Logicalis Healthcare Solutions’ web site, then contact us to talk about the ways Logicalis can help you align your business and technical needs to enhance both financial results and patient outcomes.