A short while back, robbing financial data was the main focus for hackers. Even with the digitization of most financial transactions bringing stringent security and law to safeguard such transactions, the perpetrators of these crimes still managed to get away with data such as credit card numbers for selling online, particularly on the dark web. However, times have changed and so has their focus. In fact, hackers are now focused on stealing more valuable data, such as electronic healthcare records.

The shift in focus is owed to the high availability of a ready market for financial data, which means that it goes for a cheap price. Currently, you can easily cancel your credit card after noticing that a hacker has stolen your credit card number. The bank can also cancel the card and alert you of any suspicious transactions whenever someone steals it and attempts to make unusual purchases around the country.  Although this does not mean that such theft cases will vanish, the crime is no longer as lucrative as it was sometime back.

Unidentified online buyers can pay $50 for a single electronic healthcare record, whereas a credit card number simply goes for a $1. This shows how valuable healthcare information is out there. In fact, criminals can utilize your healthcare data to initiate false claims for undergoing fake medical procedures in non-existent medical facilities. Since 2009, over 120 million individuals have been victims of this crime. There are, specifically, over 1,100 different cases of this happening. Recent studies indicate that the rate at which criminals are targeting big healthcare facilities is still increasing.

Although it might seem like you are surrounded by danger, there are still ways of safeguarding your enterprise from being a victim of healthcare hacking. So how do you do it?

Commence a Risk Assessment

Before you start making any improvements, you first need to acquaint yourself with your business’ status. To do so, you need to assess these categories:

  • Tackling and Blocking: Focus on the basic aspects. For instance, your processes, policies, reporting metrics and controls.
  • Risk-Based Assessment: Make sure you have a risk-based approach and multi-layered security that cannot only be useful in correlating events, such as security cases across various enterprise settings, but also one that can respond and rank them through both IT audit controls and dynamic information security.
  • Compliance: Focus on compliance frameworks for driving security decisions.

Assess Your Customer and Vendor Agreements at Least Once A Year

Make sure that you understand business associate relationships and the covered entity if you want to keep your data safe. What’s more, your counsel must appropriately review and evaluate all the business associate agreements formulated for compliance requirements, as well as conduct a self-evaluation, primarily against your business’ internal requirements.

Assign the Role of Compliance Management to Someone Within the Organization

In case you are hacked, keep in mind that legal fines alone can hurt your business more compared to the stolen records (a maximum of $50,000 for each lost record). As such, you need to make sure that you appoint someone within the organization to fill the InfoSec role. Also, assign another security official to formulate and execute HIPAA procedures and guidelines.

Conduct Training for Security Awareness

Ensure that all the parties responsible for the security of your organization are well-conversant with the necessary compliance structures including HIPAA. They ought to include the security for covered entity relationships and business associates, as well as your business and communications. For this case, hire an organization with the expertise and experience in conducting security awareness training to assist in instituting your organization’s culture of security.

Come Up With a Security Framework

Here, you require bringing various things together in an attempt to make an effective, sustainable network of both security procedures and checks. Moreover, make sure that  the security framework you create includes the  following aspects:

  • Security policy
  • Security optimization
  • Security governance
  • Security reporting and monitoring
  • Security governance

Each step will involve a varying process depending on various factors such as your organization’s maturity, size, and structure. Nonetheless, your company ought to be in a position to make use of both robust network monitoring software and end-to-end encryption to detect and avert any hacking attempts by criminals.

Developing a robust security infrastructure for IT will undeniably provide you with an established security framework that maintains security throughout the lifetime of your most crucial data. As such, make sure that you leverage threat intelligence to create an effective framework through preparing, safeguarding, incorporating, identifying, and reacting to both present and possible threats as they come. What’s more, ensure that you remain vigilant during preparation to help you stay ready.

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Ken Lynch is an enterprise software startup veteran, who has always been fascinated about what drives workers to work and how to make work more engaging. Ken founded Reciprocity to pursue just that. He has propelled Reciprocity’s success with this mission-based goal of engaging employees with the governance, risk, and compliance goals of their company in order to create more socially minded corporate citizens. Ken earned his BS in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT. Learn more at ReciprocityLabs.com.

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