Healthcare data security has been a hot topic in the news recently. Healthcare data breaches can be detrimental to both our physical and mental well-being since they often include sensitive information like social security numbers, medical history, financial information, and more.
What is data security?
Data security refers to the measures taken to protect electronic health data. The healthcare industry has different guidelines for security depending on the type of information that is being stored and transmitted. Here are some of the ways you can implement some general practices across all systems:
- Using secure passwords
- Encrypting sensitive information when sending it over an unsecured network like public Wi-Fi or through email
- Storing medical records in a safe place with limited
- Training employees how to handle patient information responsibly since they may have access to this data if administrative password locks don’t properly protect it.
The big question, however, is, why is healthcare data security so important?
Importance of healthcare data security
- It helps protect patients’ information.
One of the biggest reasons healthcare data security is so important is because it helps protect patients’ information which can often include things like social security numbers, medical history, financial records, and more. When this type of sensitive information falls into the wrong hands, some people are at risk for identity theft or fraud, while others may be denied certain treatments due to their past health records.
- It ensures compliance with HIPAA regulations
The HIPAA privacy rule is a set of federal protections that prevent covered entities from sharing an individual’s protected health information without consent. Having a healthcare data security solution in place means that you have implemented encryption properly to ensure you meet your compliance obligations as well as protect patient confidentiality at all times.
- Prevent data breaches and security risks
Data breaches can be detrimental for businesses of any size, but when healthcare organizations experience this type of attack, it is especially problematic since the sensitive information which is exposed could potentially cause serious issues for patients under their care. Using a solution like encryption helps ensure your organization meets its overall security objectives while also protecting patient confidentiality.
- Protects against ransomware attacks
Ransomware continues to be one of the most dangerous types of malware affecting both home users as well as big organizations such as hospitals. It is, therefore, no surprise that hospitals are now one of the most targeted industries. Healthcare data security is especially important since this industry has such a large amount of valuable data. Not only that, but especially with the rise in ransomware attacks, it can be particularly problematic to the hospital if they are attacked by malicious hackers who want to encrypt all their files and hold them for ransom for money.
There is no doubt that healthcare data security is a crucial issue and will continue to be in the future. The consequences of failing to protect patient records could have dire consequences on both patients as well as the hospital at large.