While the explosion of technological advancement has been great for business, it’s become more challenging than ever before to keep sensitive information safe–even if all you use is an Internet connection. Even small healthcare offices are feeling the effects of this proliferation of threats and malware as they struggle to keep their organizations secure and compliant with government agencies.
Since their inception, traditional filing storage systems have been at constant threat of user error, document destruction, and theft. In recent years, the filing systems put into place by healthcare organizations have become more streamlined than the traditional file cabinet, and due to their nature of being connected digital systems, the increase in security concerns is problematic. Hackers are aware the type of data that healthcare organizations store, and are even more aware that they can make a ton of cash with it.
In particular, hospitals are major targets of hacking attacks. Ransomware is a huge threat to all organizations, but to a hospital it could be a death knell. Hospitals require data in order to care for their patients, and if that data isn’t available, lives are put at risk. This makes hospitals most likely to pay for the safe return of their files, as they have little choice in the matter when their patients and their data are targeted. The same can be said for large enterprises, which might see paying for the safe return of their data as the more viable solution compared to their other choices.
Here are a few tips to help you keep your business HIPAA compliant.
- Use data backup and disaster recovery: You need to make sure that your organization has tools that can back up your data and restore it at a later date. This means that you need to have a recovery point objective and a recovery time objective. You should make sure that your data is stored both on-site and off-site, just in case you need a last-minute restore.
- Implement enterprise-level security solutions: Chances are that regardless of what industry your business falls into, you collect some sensitive information that needs to be protected at all costs. Firewalls, antivirus, spam blocking, and content filtering cannot be afterthoughts–they are practically crucial if you want to optimize your network’s chances against threats. A Unified Threat Management (UTM) solution is a great way to take advantage of these preventative security solutions.
- Use encryption: There are times when organizations won’t see the need to encrypt their data, simply because they may already have security measures put into place that seem to be perfectly fine. While HIPAA doesn’t necessarily require that your organization use encryption, it’s still highly recommended. Encryption makes it so that any stolen data is practically impossible to decipher.
- Consult IT professionals: Your organization focuses on a specific craft, one that may not have anything to do with IT security. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to outsource this responsibility to IT professionals whose sole responsibility is the security of your IT infrastructure. Any technician worth your time will be able to tell you a thing or two about HIPAA compliance.
If your business is finding HIPAA compliance difficult, DatCom, LLC would be happy to assist you. We’ll find ways that your organization can optimize your infrastructure for HIPAA compliance. To learn more, reach out to us at (903) 842-2220.