Patient care should be in line with regulations from Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), a United States legislation that concerns itself mainly with data privacy. In addition, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which the EU formulated, also helps checkmate issues related to data privacy.
In today's healthcare sector, challenges relating to healthcare data such as hacktivism and the surge in the number of hackers, the addition of mobile and cloud technology to the healthcare sphere, and even user error in technology adoption affect and sometimes compromise patient data. Hospitals and healthcare facilities can adopt specific measures to counter such issues to keep up with this unfavorable development. One of such effective strategies includes encrypting data in rest and transit.
Encryption is a reliable data security measure that health care bodies can use to safeguard specific information. Encrypting data in rest involves protecting stored data from extra filtration and compromise. On the other hand, encrypting data in transit involves specific processes relating to data protection before transmission. When healthcare organizations use these two processes, it becomes almost impossible for hackers to decrypt patient data despite having access to them.
Another strategy is implementing data usage controls. Protective data measures involve more than reaping the benefits of access control and monitoring to detect and stop potentially harmful or malicious data activity in real-time. Medical institutions can use data protection measures to prevent sensitive data from being uploaded to the internet, emailed, copied to external storage, or printed. Data detection and classification is important component of this process because sensitive data can be identified and marked for appropriate protection.
Another strategy healthcare bodies can use to protect client data is a recovery and backup plan. General healthcare data can be compromised through destruction, malware attacks, and hacking. Ransomware attacks that can jeopardize health care data are also another threat to data safety. These happenings can cause setbacks in medical advancement in creating new effective medicines and finding a cure to certain ailments.
Healthcare companies can successfully limit the potential harm of security disasters by planning for the worst. Data backup and recovery are important in the medical industry. For example, the impact of the 2017 WannaCry ransomware attack on the United Kingdom's National Health Service (NHS), which nearly paralyzed the healthcare system and caused the termination of 19,000 medical appointments, could have been resolved if the NHS had been up to date with recovery plans.
In the United States, HIPAA regulation requires healthcare companies to have data protection plans, disaster recovery plans, and operation plans for emergency modes. Health care providers should have data protection strategies to safeguard the information they need to care for their patients. Organizations cannot store all their data in one place. So, they can rely on secure backup and cloud networks to prevent data compromise and availability.
Lastly, a data protection strategy is ensuring mobile device security. Healthcare workers can protect the mobile devices they use by inputting strong passwords, educating users on the best mobile security measures, and enabling the process that involves wiping personal data remotely.