In 1996, in order to keep people’s healthcare information private, the federal government came up with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The regulations set forth in HIPAA are designed to keep personal healthcare information private. Included in these regulations are strict standards that businesses who deal with any healthcare information need to meet.
Twenty years later, the security of our most personal data is still relatively poor. The healthcare industry ranks second to last when it comes to data security. Smaller businesses are at an especially high risk. Here are five reasons that healthcare data breaches are so common.
- Systems are old or complex.
- Health IT is 95% manual work
- Disjointed monitoring
- “We’re already HIPAA compliant”
- Health data is valuable
Electronic Medical Record systems aren’t enough
Many smaller businesses are making the switch to Electronic Medical Record systems in the hopes of keeping healthcare information more secure. Unfortunately, merely investing in EMR isn’t enough to ensure that personal data is kept safe. Software companies might promise that their EMR systems are HIPAA compliant but that doesn’t really mean much.
As a general rule, buying any product or software that says “HIPAA compliant” doesn’t make your business HIPAA compliant. It’s just a marketing ploy designed to get businesses to buy those products or software. No single tool can make your business HIPAA compliant. What you need is a comprehensive cyber-security solution.
Managed IT services
A better solution for smaller businesses looking to remain HIPAA compliant is to invest in managed IT services that handle all of your security needs. With managed IT services you have constant monitoring. IT professionals are keeping an eye on your network and watching for any sign of a cyber-attack. With managed IT, you don’t have to worry about firewall and antivirus at the workstation level. These are often insufficient as employees may not regularly update their firewall or antivirus and could accidentally disable them. Managed IT will ensure that you have top of the line firewall and antivirus securing your entire system at all times. Most importantly of all, managed IT services allows you to partner with a team of highly skilled IT professionals with a range of specialization. No small business can afford that kind of in-house IT team to keep their network safe.
No business too small
The number one excuse small businesses give for not worrying about HIPAA compliance is that they’re too small to become a target. But the truth is, healthcare data is valuable for hackers. And any business that deals with healthcare data is a potential target for a cyber-attack. Failing to remain HIPAA compliant can result in fines or other penalties even if your data isn’t compromised. So regardless of how big or how small your company is, don’t forget about HIPAA compliance.
Source: Computer World