Data security in a healthcare organization

Is Cyber Security a real concern in the Healthcare Industry? Here’s Why

IMPACT OF DIGITALIZATION 

Digitalization has revolutionized the healthcare industry as much as any other. There has been a sharp increase in conversion of  business processes into digital form. These processes include the storage and processing of huge amount of data related to the consumer’s identity, personal information, medical history etc. 
Before technology took over, the healthcare industry was also supported by paper backed storage systems. But paper backs went out of use and was replaced by technology where information was stored in the form of bits.
Data security in a healthcare organization refers to the security measures taken to protect sensitive data available with the healthcare industry in the form of names, addresses, phone numbers, medical details etc. from cyber attacks. 

DATA SECURITY

With more and more use of technology backed business processes it became necessary to protect the information available in digital form. That is where data security comes into play. 
Data security refers to a set of standards and technologies that protect data privacy from intentional or accidental destruction, modification or disclosure. Data security can be applied using a range of measures and technologies, including administrative controls, physical security measures, logical controls, organizational standards, and other safeguarding measures that limit access to unauthorized or malicious users or processes.

Data Security Challenges in the healthcare industry

Securing data is not an easy task. A few challenges faced while ensuring healthcare data security are as follows:

Single layer protection Using single layer protection proves to be insufficient for protecting huge amount of data.

Difficult to keep up with demand Due to the creation of a large number of spontaneously  growing non-relational databases, security solutions are not able to keep up with the rapidly growing demand. 

Special care needed for large data When large data is involved additional security measures need to be taken to store and process the data safely

Insider leaks It becomes a difficult task to monitor insider leaks. In this case the executives who have access to the data misuse it to mine data

Mistaken Beliefs causing ineffectiveness There exist too many myths with regard to data security that weaken the effectiveness of security measures and makes data vulnerable to attacks. Some of these myths are – Maximum breaches are done by hackers, this is untrue, most of the breaches are done by insiders.

Complexity of data security systems The internet gives a platform to a complex computing environment where sensitive data faces many different types of security threats. The complexity of the system needs to be matched in the security measures also.
Healthcare data security challenges are complex and many in number. It requires up to date counter measures to keep in check.

Significance of data security in healthcare

Healthcare data security threats are the reason why data security holds such importance in the healthcare industry.  The potential consequences of data breaches are disastrous to the right to privacy of individual consumers. Identity theft is a common result of such breaches. There are other negative consequences including reselling of personal information in the stolen data black market. The identity may be stolen for various reasons like targeting sensitive medical information to influence individual’s probability to fall for internet frauds and schemes.

Growth Prospects ofcybersecurity in Healthcare industry

For the cybersecurity industry, there is no looking back. The trends in the last decade show exponential growth in the cybersecurity industry.
Similarly Cyber security is growing in the healthcare industry by leaps and bounds. Moreover there is no slow down or stop being predicted in the next decade as well.  With technological advancement in the healthcare industry the relevance of data security will become of acute importance.

Measures that can be taken in preparation against cyber threats

There are several data security measures in healthcare that can be taken to increase preparedness by the healthcare organizations.Some basic but essential measures include:
Establish strong passwords to ensure it can’t be easily guessed,Set up a firewall,Think of antivirus protection as many latest antivirus softwares are available in the market,Updating is important to stay up to date with the most recent technology ,Secure every laptop,Secure mobile phones, Schedule backups  Monitor steadily, Be smart with emails and surfing the web,Educate your employees about Data Security and create awareness about the threats faced by sensitive data.

Latest News about data security in the healthcare sector

Data Breach in Missouri 

Lawsuit filed by patients against Missouri University Healthcare for data breach of 14 thousand patients.

Experts concerned over data security with AI Healthcare

UK boosts funding for AI in healthcare: Experts convey concerns about data security.Know more about the risks related to AI in our blog Automated Cybersecurity : AI has a long way to go!

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