Like you, we expect organizations we choose to do business with to have taken the proper measures to ensure my personal data is not only protected but also secure. It’s estimated that data breaches costs the U.S. economy, on average, $3.86 billion annually. Factor in the cost of the exposed PHI information, the time to contain, the incident response team, forensic, lawsuits, and the loss of business due to customers losing trust and you begin to realize the long-term impact these breaches have.
Earlier this year, there were 44 data breaches in healthcare reported to the federal government. This is the highest number of healthcare breaches reported in a single month since HHS’ Office for Civil Rights began maintaining its online database of healthcare breaches back in 2010. And just the other day Quest Diagnostics notified the Federal Government that nearly 12 million of its customers may have had personal, financial and medical information exposed due to an issue with one of its vendors.
While there is no indication these breaches will lessen or the costs will go away, here are four areas that we believe will assist with improving your security posture:
- Know what’s on your network – take inventory and remove unauthorized devices.
- Identify where your infrastructure is vulnerable and correct it – don’t presume you’re not vulnerable. Leverage what you have – optimize, integrate and automate your tools to detect and stop cyber threats before they cause harm.
- Don’t allow authorized 3rd party vendors to place your business at risk – know how your PHI data is being transmitted, handled, and stored.
- Don’t let complacency settle in – challenge your organization, your teams, your processes and standards, and most importantly your vendors.
Now, the silver lining in this is according to a recent article “Healthcare Data Breaches Reach Record High in April”, Jessica Cohen – Modern Healthcare May 10, 2019, that despite the record number of incidents reported in April, the industry actually experienced a 29% reduction in the number of people who had data exposed from the previous month (686,953 people in April down from 963,794 people affected in March).
Having the right vendor at your side provides a sense of security (no pun intended) knowing they have your best interest at heart. They become an extension of your team and are seasoned professionals who work across multiple disciplines to bring you the recommendations and foresight to stay ahead of the bad guys. As a certified HIMSS Analytics Infrastructure Adoption Model (INFRAM) consultant, Integration Partners is able to assist healthcare leaders assess and map their technology infrastructure capabilities required to reach their facility’s infrastructure goals — and meet International benchmarks and standards.