Friday, May 17, 2013
Healthcare providers must regularly review security solutions
Data protection is a critical aspect of organizations in every industry. Without sufficient cybersecurity, it is impossible for a firm to effectively pursue its greater goals, whatever those may be. Just as importantly, most sectors have significant regulations in place concerning the protection of client data, and failure to comply with these standards can have major negative consequences for the organizations in question.
But while these guidelines apply to every industry, there are undoubtedly some for which data protection is particularly critical. The healthcare industry is a prominent example, as hospitals and other care providers are responsible for safeguarding a tremendous amount of extremely sensitive financial and personal information for every patient they treat.
To meet these standards, it is imperative that healthcare providers follow best practices. Notably, these organizations need to review their secure file transfer and other data protection solutions with regularity.
Too many breaches
The need for healthcare providers to review and make improvements to their cybersecurity solutions on a frequent basis is visible in the sheer number of data breaches which affect the industry. Despite the overall awareness among hospital leaders and doctors of the need to protect patient data, and the laws in place to enforce this notion, healthcare providers are constantly making the news due to yet another data breach.
For example, The Charlotte Observer recently reported that a breach at a Charlotte medical practice resulted in the exposure of almost 10,000 individuals' credit card information. More significantly, the news source noted that this is merely the latest of a series of healthcare-related data breaches to occur in North Carolina alone in recent years. Notably, approximately 5,600 patients in the Carolinas HealthCare System had personal information exposed in December.
As the news source pointed out, there are now more opportunities than ever before for data breaches at healthcare providers to occur, thanks to the increasing frequency of online financial transactions. Consequently, providers must become more vigilant to reduce the likelihood of these incidents occurring.
By regularly reviewing the measures healthcare providers have in place to protect patient, employee and partner data, it may be possible for these organizations to stay one step ahead of cyberattackers, and to identify vulnerabilities before they are exploited.
As noted above, hospitals and clinics must now handle a tremendous number of digital financial transactions, which in turn require a great amount of data exchange. Yet many healthcare providers have not upgraded the solutions they use to perform such data movement in quite some time. These outdated tools may be susceptible to cyberattack?s, putting patient information at risk. But this weakness can only be identified if the healthcare providers regularly review the systems they have in place and invest in improvements when needed.
Notably, healthcare providers should implement secure file transfer tools that can protect large amounts of data as it is sent to, from and between healthcare organizations. By ensuring that sensitive data is always protected by industry-leading tools, care providers can protect their patients' information without sacrificing productivity.