Healthcare, being a social sector is designed for public access and traditionally has not considered enforcing safeguards. An effective way to approach HIPAA compliance in a healthcare establishment is by ensuring that any myth related to the regulation is defied. It becomes crucial to gain deep knowledge about the regulations. As digitization of sensitive information in healthcare sector has taken on in full swing, service providers, be it large settings or smaller units, are perpetual targets of cyber thieves looking for information.
If it surprises you that data (whether on premises or cloud) in custody of healthcare providers – from large hospital to small clinical settings to laboratories – are on the watch list of cyber criminals, then do not stop read this. You will surly find value in the information shared regarding cyber security and related regulation and save you hefty penalty.
As data breaches occur within defined parameters – HIPAA lists all possible violations of security, administrative or technical safeguards and certain parameters.
Healthcare providers and payers can subject themselves to harsh penalties if they ignore the importance of regulatory compliant IAM solution for their establishment.
Listed below are important questions one might have asked regarding IT Security in Healthcare. We try to elaborate those myths to help healthcare establishments make effective decisions in IT Security:
Is completely secure IT infrastructure achievable? Even when the best of technology, sophisticated check-points are brought into the system, cyber criminals are likely to be a step ahead. Cyber criminals are innovative and are more proactive while looking at ways to get past a secure facility. It is advised that healthcare administrators should focus on physical security controls and network security. It is better to approach IT Security with a focus to minimize the damage in case of breach. Even an authorized access point and corrects checks in place can allow a system to be exploited.
Is it sufficient to rely on existing controls?Although you have adopted significant security controls, are those rigorous enough to address security risks and HIPAA compliance? For many organizations it is just an unfounded assumption and thus a big no! Knowing that elements that create vulnerability in your IT systems requires proactive approach. To reduce cyber theft risk, the least IT security could do is to meet HIPAA standards.
Are only big establishments hacked? The belief that only big organizations are hacked is flawed. It could encourage decision makers of mid/small establishment to remain lazy and delay setting up right checks in place. Irrespective of the size of your organization, if breach is reported – you will be liable for government audit and potential sanctions. The truth is that even small organization can be hacked. In fact hackers find smaller units easy to crack as they are likely to get put together intelligent IT systems.
Are checks to be placed only after a breach? There are two types of riders (and organizations) – ones that have crashed and ones that are going to crash. Your organization is likely to be breached, perhaps as you read this – a breach might be happening and you will never even discover it till it is reported in audit. After a breach – it is about penalty, tarnished brand image, lost customers, and cost of IT security. Don’t wait for a bigger loss – better to speak to experts about your Identity and Access related IT security arrangements.
Is cost of HIPAA Compliance too high? Setting a compliant system requires investment. In no way can the cost of setting up IT systems be equated with cost of stolen data. But the odds against compliance are irrevocable. It includes huge fine from the federal government and loss of customer trust, lost brand image and high cost of re-building the lost image. Cloud based systems have helped in reducing the cost with pay per use model.
There are many modes of data thefts – it is always suggested to bring an expert to help you create a IT system that is compliant, secure, agile and automated.