Data Breaches in the Healthcare Industry: Causes & Preventive Measures

With data breaches happening all over the world for years, people have become desensitised to it. This is not ideal. Protection of data is particularly critical in the medical sector, as this form of data is very vulnerable to cyber criminals.

Hackers want access to medical information because it is useful. The price for a single graph on an electric health record is fifty dollars, and a credit card number is sold for as little as one dollar each. This has proved to be a famously easy industry to exploit and take advantage of.

Unfortunately, bad things tend to happen in a lot of cases. The number of data breach and ransom attacks is increasing; thus, prevention is the best action. Before addressing data protection techniques, let’s first learn about the kinds of threats that cause security breaches and how they can occur.

Causes of Healthcare Data Breaches.

The healthcare sector suffer the highest costs in terms of data breaches. These are the main explanations for that.

• Historical Software This is one of the largest sources of healthcare data breaches in the industry. In reality, businesses have lost billions of dollars due to software errors, in addition to being vulnerable to cyber attacks. Old or obsolete programming languages are small and thus provide easy access for hackers to benefit from them.

• Human error and/or greed. Within healthcare, the workers, particularly doctors and nurses, are the biggest threats. Most data breaches are triggered by internal employees. When malicious intent causes harm, or neglect causes damage, the effects too may be equally harmful.

Theft and data disposal. Health care organisations also become exposed due to fraud, destruction, unsafe disposal of equipment and healthcare breaches. Situations that have happened are computers being stolen from cars and companies, having access to sensitive data on public networks, and a few others.

Unauthorized entry. Hacking is illegal and a hazard because it requires unauthorised access to a machine or computer. Hackers know all the hacks to enter medical information, keeping all notes and data for themselves. Although a lower percentage of recorded incidents include multiple records being stolen, this is still a potential risk.

Malware It remains the number one explanation for data breaches worldwide, and regardless of the industry. However, this is happening because malware writers make a profit by selling stolen data to the highest bidder on the dark web.

Prevention of Healthcare Data Breaches.

Security threats may be avoided. Here are the best approaches to tight protection for your healthcare institution and for years to come.

• Address risk. In order to develop a stable healthcare system, we must look at the problem from a different angle. You cannot sit with your fingers crossed and hope for the best. Instead you have to determine the company’s appetite for risk and find the least amount of vulnerabilities around your applications, back-end systems, remote locations, and more; and then enforce the most acceptable security practises.

• Education and preparation of employee All staff must be mindful of our company’s data protection policies properly. It is essential to have appropriate formal and on-the-job training in order to protect the health records. Teach them not to share their health care information online, such as on social media networks or by text message. Make routine data backup activities as a way to ensure that the data is recoverable in the event of a data failure.

Track devices and documents. It is important for the medical staff to be aware of the confidential details they leave on their electronic devices and paperwork. It is because data breaches are more likely to happen in high risk locations such as in a home, office, and car. So, keep reminding them about their role in maintaining secure data.

• Control access to medical information. In a healthcare system, it is important to protect the privacy of your information as it can be accessed by multiple people for various purposes. In that situation, you need to know how to appropriately handle the identities of those users and the data they have access to. By controlling access and maintaining user permissions, medical data can never be placed in the wrong hands.

• Develop Cell Phone Ownership Strategy. Strict and airtight techniques are important in order to comprehensively protect the internal networks and devices. It is important to develop proper security standards as to the devices are permitted for company use, both internally and externally; and if company-issued devices are allowed to be taken home.

The measures I list should be called preparatory steps. They cannot promise that a violation would not occur. The healthcare IT world is complicated and fragile, and you should have these as your crash course in cyber security. It is a good idea to have your data recovery experience number readily accessible in case of a data recovery emergency.