Is your Healthcare Technology Putting your Users’ Data at Risk?

Taking additional security measures is undoubtedly important, particularly in times when people are using this software more frequently, like in times of an outbreak. Healthcare institutions have some unique security requirements as a result of the sensitive data that they are collecting.


There are quite a few ways you can stay active at this time, ensuring that your software security and compliance are top-notch, including understanding who has access to the data you are sharing with third parties. Infrastructure audits can help to discover or verify any security issues within your software.


1. Who has access to data in your organization?

Healthcare institutions can take many forms; small practices, hospitals, laboratories, or insurance firms. There is a tendency for these institutions to have multiple suppliers in many areas, which means there are multiple channels of communication where information is exchanged. Naturally, the more channels, the greater the security risk. That’s why it’s crucial to set rules, guidelines, especially in times of emergency outbreaks. This includes policies for critical situations and how to cooperate with external vendors and partners.

Often, the unification of systems and procedures across bigger entities becomes a major issue, which is why it’s so important to verify who has access to which systems, materials and to which part of a supply chain. For instance, you should know who has access to your Protected Health Information (PHI), which is data in the form of electronics, speech, or paper that can be used to identify specific individuals. The more players in the game, the better the chances of data being compromised - which is why we insist that guidelines be put in place to ensure you know who and when any sensitive data has been accessed or shared.

2. Data access control restrictions

HIPPA regulations and compliance are crucial, particularly in times of outbreak and increased need for healthcare technology. There are rules and regulations regarding what collected data is being shared and with whom. You are gathering these policies and best practices, but they don’t say exactly what to do. When your HealthTech system is also involved with payments, The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is very clear about its standards and mentions the “rules of the game”, describing in detail the key aspects of what to do, when to do it, and in which critical situation.

The standard policy should be that third parties should not have access to production data unless there is no other option. As an example, if a public person can be watched by various people and then have their information stolen. This could be particularly problematic if, for example, a politician who is running for office has cancer, and doesn’t want anyone to know. It’s worth thinking critically about if vendors that have access to data really need to, or perhaps could have access for short periods. To minimize the potential of compromising data, access to this data should be controlled - consider if you are sharing too much of your data, or just enough.

3. Stress-tests can fill in the gaps in your digital products

In times where you will have more active users on your software, it’s good to revise the possibility of your infrastructure as a result of a change in patient needs, changes in patient behavior, and based on everyday processes. A quick infrastructure audit could help to solve some issues you are having, or help to prevent any issues from arising. These stress tests on the core elements make sure that all crucial elements of your software are in tip-top shape.

After an infrastructure audit, it’s always good to follow up with the next steps, such as fixing any bugs or tightening security. You should verify fraud procedures to make sure they are up to date with the current climate of your software users, as well as carrying out security audits for vendors from the security processes, and manage compliance to ensure policies are up-to-date. When you discover a change in user behavior or an influx in users for your software, it’s important to verify what you already have and make sure it is up-to-date to ensure that none of your security measures are being compromised.

4. Some risks are not worth taking

Using different tools and methods to monitor your data access and data sharing is a vital element of HealthTech security. With an increasing need for HealthTech, users require you to ensure that their sensitive data is safe. Mind you, this isn’t just about users, it’s also about being compliant with government rules and regulations in the healthcare industry.

Knowing who has access to what data and when they gained access is an important step in maintaining a high standard of security for your HealthTech software. HIPAA compliance is an important factor, but first, you need to understand what to do with the best practices and policies they recommend. This includes considering what data, how much data, and how long you are sharing that data with third parties. Finally, we highly recommend infrastructure audits to make sure there are no holes. These can be done to verify or discover any possible security issues with your software.

When you’re collecting such sensitive data, as you do within HealthTech, you need to take responsibility for the security of that data. There are compliance requirements and regulations in place for good reason, and it’s important that you not only comply but take the extra steps to ensure the security of your software.

Takeaways:

  • Make sure you know who has access to what data to ensure accountability
  • Think about who you’re giving data-access, and if access be controlled better
  • Infrastructure audits are a great way to make verify & discover security risks




If you’re worried about your software’s security, we can help. We’ve been working with the healthcare system for over a decade. Feel free to contact us about any questions about security, compliance, or HealthTech digital products. You can also leave us a message in the form on this page.

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