When patients see their doctors, it is not uncommon for them to be referred to a specialist to better address concerns. For the specialist to assist a new patient, electronic health record (EHR) information must be exchanged between the referring practitioner and the new one. This can be risky considering the threat of EHR security breaches during the exchange process. In addition, in the United States, healthcare practitioners must only exchange EHR information using approved transfer methods outlined by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Failure to do so can result in steep fines for EHR and HIPAA violations.
The healthcare industry will forever be the target of cyberattacks due to the array of information included in the healthcare record.
With this in mind, the need for cybersecurity is not going away. It is becoming a more predominant focal point in the industry, as you will see shortly. If your organization is struggling to justify the financial cost of adding cybersecurity to yearly budgets, consider asking yourself the following questions:
Any break in the standard flow of a business can result in severe financial losses. Where do these losses stem from? According to Bleuwire, the usual suspects that can cause downtime in any business are:
On the surface, many people identify ransomware as a one-dimensional type of attack that encrypts files and only frees them once payment is received. In theory, this is the basis for most ransomware attacks. Over time, cybercriminals have continued to develop attacks to be more intricate and ultimately more damaging.
Believe it or not, the concept of artificial intelligence (AI) dates back to the 1950s, when researchers first began thinking about ways in which machines could simulate human intelligence. With that being said, AI is not a new system. It has been around for decades and has become popular with organizations of all kinds. It is touted to be the technology capable of staying on top of a company and industry-specific trends, all while achieving higher-levels of productivity among employees.
With so many potential risks to cybersecurity, it is no surprise that data protection is a top priority for many small businesses in the U.S. When a business evaluates its cybersecurity position, it is encouraged to look at it from three key positions:
- Technology-based solutions on-premises
- Internal cloud technology
As technology becomes more sophisticated, so are the threats to our data and privacy. A recent survey of 150 Inc. 5000 companies revealed that 53 percent of respondents said they feel more confident about the security of their company's data now compared to five years ago. Though the renewed confidence amongst organizations is a welcomed surprise, cyber threats continue to be an ever-evolving hazard. Not only are cyber criminals becoming more nimble in their efforts, but cybercrime can also often happen much closer to home base.
In the United States, healthcare organizations are required to abide by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. This act provides guidelines pertaining to the handling of patient information across a number of platforms. When healthcare organizations are looking for cloud solutions to manage their data, ensuring that they are HIPAA compliant is a necessity.
The Office for Civil Rights in the United States periodically conducts HIPAA compliance audits on healthcare organizations. Most recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) performed audits of 166 covered entities and 41 business associates to check on compliance with selected provisions of the HIPAA Rules. Whether done through ignorance or negligence, HIPAA violations often come with large fines that can range from hundreds of thousands of dollars, to millions, depending on the severity.
In the health sector, priority is always given to saving lives while the security of personal health records (PHR) is sometimes overlooked. This is because, in comparison to emergencies, the storage of information seems very insignificant. As a result, an increasing number of healthcare providers are facing the consequences.
A new report by Black Book Market Research forecasts that data breaches against the healthcare industry are likely to triple in 2021. The survey also found that 75% of the organizations responding felt they were not prepared to act when a cyberattack hits and almost all (96%) felt that cyber criminals were ahead and outpacing their organizations.
HIPAA has become more important now than ever before as more people are relying on telemedicine and other forms of online care. In March 2020, the U.S. Office for Civil Rights (OCR) division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it would not apply penalties for "non-compliance with the HIPAA Rules related to the good faith provision of telehealth during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency." This mandate will continue into 2021 as more people utilize Telehealth services across the nation.