HealthTech products require exceptional security measures to ensure that there aren’t any concerns about patients’ sensitive information being compromised. Some of the best ways to prevent issues with healthcare industry software is ensuring accountability, knowing who has access to what data and when.
It’s important to have an understanding of how to control data access and implement necessary restrictions for third-parties. Running architecture audits is another fantastic way to ensure that you don’t have any holes in your software’s security.
With these security measures, you can provide a safer environment for your users’ sensitive data, but there are still additional actions you should be taking. Your digital products’ current and future successes ride primarily on its ability to be regulation-compliant and extremely safe.
We’ve broken down some common errors and solutions for helping ensure you aren’t exposing your company to liabilities:
1. The security of remote-work tools - are you sure yours are safe?
In tech, we find that we are working remotely more and more and this means we are using a lot of new remote working tools to communicate. The need for external tools is on the rise, but we need to be mindful of the security of these solutions. A great example of some security issues that have come up as of late is “Zoom-bombing”, where uninvited users were inappropriately joining meetings because they somehow gained access to the meeting link.
These meetings are places where we can share sensitive information about our companies and about the data we collect. The conversations we have over these external tools can be dangerous if used on company hardware, which is why we highly recommend revising the security of your remote work tools, like Zoom, Skype, or Slack. These tools are a necessity when working remotely to effectively communicate and making sure that these systems are secure is an essential part of protecting our data.
2. Maximize your efforts in minimizing risk during times of uncertainty
Choosing which activities should be postponed and which are a priority can have a big influence on your HealthTech digital product. It’s about choosing which software development activities are most risky and making a decision about whether to continue with their development or if it’s safer to hold off.
We recommend postponing riskier features, especially when they can impact the security of your software. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be taking any chances in times of crisis, but when implementing changes to your software, you should be making more informed decisions with more predictable outcomes. Putting your software’s security at risk is not a risk worth taking.
3. Share the latest information as a means of prevention
Scamming websites and phishing attempts in the healthcare industry are on the rise. Many claim that you can buy the “latest vaccine” for a few thousand dollars. We’re also noticing that ransomware attacks are becoming more popular, and 80% of these attacks start off with opening an email and clicking on a link.
You can prevent these types of scams from affecting your employees, but also your computer systems and software through effective communication. Amid a health crisis, it’s important to keep your users and employees informed about the status of new vaccines or other important health news. This way they aren’t as inclined, or hopefully won’t be inclined at all, to go for these click-bait scams that seem to be increasing in numbers.
4. Do you know who has access to your data?
In our article “Is your Healthcare Technology Putting your Users’ Data at Risk?”, we discuss minimizing the risk of data leaks with third-party vendors, but we believe it’s also important to minimize those same risks internally.
With HealthTech’s collection of patient sensitive data, there is a greater need to ensure that only the people who really need access have it. If certain team members don’t have to have access to a particular set of data, then it should be restricted to them. You can choose to restrict sets of data entirely or provide time-restrictions for when access is needed - the choice is yours. Reducing internal risks is an easy way of preventing leaks and securing the information you collect.
5. Passwords and Security Devices Best Practices
When we talk about HealthTech, we endlessly discuss regulation-compliance with good reason of course! GDPR and HIPAA, for example, have clear guidelines about what is needed for password security and software access. Making sure that your company follows these important guidelines is more than just a precaution, it’s a necessity.
But it shouldn’t stop at your users! You should be practicing these protocols internally as well. Implementing protective measures such as two(or more)-factor authentication and password reset & quality policies should be prioritized for all systems and features (similar to what banks have been doing for a couple of years now). Make sure your employees understand the importance of these security implementations and are using them in their daily practices.
Security is a priority for your unique HealthTech product
The security measures and protocol for HealthTech, as we know, are quite unique. Collecting so much sensitive data, we need to ensure that your purchased software is has been tested when it comes to securing data. But you can’t just stop at the security your software provides for your users, you need to make sure that you are also taking preventative measures within your company.
We’ve suggested some key actions that your company can take to increase security and prevent sensitive data leaking into the wrong hands. Some risks are just not worth taking, and when it comes to patient data, those of us with years of experience working with the healthcare industry know, security is a priority.
- Revise external communication tools to make sure they can be used for sensitive discussions
- Postpone riskier development during times of uncertainty, so as not to compromise the security measures you have already taken
- Keep your users and employees informed on the latest news to prevent security risks like click-bait scams
- Internal data-access restrictions can be just as important as the restrictions you set for third-party vendors
- Password and security protocols should be common practice for both your software and internal daily activities