Cyberattacks are on the rise, and healthcare organizations are a prime target. With a majority of health records now being electronic, a cyberattack can have a devastating effect on a healthcare organization, compromising patient data and violating HIPAA regulations. In order to protect your organization from breaches, it is important to take action in protecting patient data by implementing HIPAA Cybersecurity Measures.
The Importance of Securing Your Technology for HIPAA Compliance
When it comes to HIPAA compliance and preventing data breaches, one of the most important aspects is ensuring that your technology is secure. With this being said, it is critical to implement security measures that will protect you from cyberattacks and secure PHI.
Two key components of maintaining digital confidentiality within your organization are employee awareness and education, and having a strong cybersecurity system in place. Developing and implementing a cybersecurity plan is a great method of defense, but the end users must also take action to protect against unintentional breaches that may occur from cyberattacks.
While it is likely that your team is educated on how HIPAA works and the guidelines that they are required to follow in their profession, it is possible that they do not have as much background knowledge on how to use workplace technology in a manner that safeguards against malicious cyberattacks.
By focusing on improving these areas within your organization, you can strengthen your levels of security and ensure that you remain in compliance with HIPAA requirements.
Cybersecurity Measures to Implement for HIPAA Compliance
To begin, it is important to develop a comprehensive cybersecurity plan for your organization. This plan should include a combination of both basic and advanced security controls. While it is vital to include basic controls such as firewalls, antivirus software, data encryption, and regular data backups, your plan should also include more advanced measures to increase your level of security. Some examples of advanced controls include multi-factor authentication, routine risk assessments/scans, and the development of a procedure for disaster recovery and incident response.
Another critical item that organizations should consider including in their cybersecurity plan is secure email and messaging systems. Phishing attacks, typically executed via email, are one of the most common sources of cyberattacks within healthcare organizations. Using secure communications systems can help protect against these threats and protect patient data from being accessed or stolen by unauthorized individuals through these platforms.
How an IT Provider Can Help with HIPAA Compliance
An IT provider can assist organizations subject to HIPAA compliance by developing an in-depth, detailed cybersecurity plan that is customized to fit your specific organization. The right MSP will work with you through every step of your security journey, from technology infrastructure development and implementation to ongoing management and maintenance, so that you have time to focus on other aspects of your work– like caring for your patients!
In addition to developing a robust cybersecurity plan, an IT provider can also assist with the smaller day-to-day tasks, such as troubleshooting computer issues, setting up and providing support for HIPAA-compliant email and messaging systems, and more. They can also assist in employee education by providing training on how to identify and avoid cyberattacks through programs such as phishing simulations.
Aside from technical support and cybersecurity implementation, having an extra team to keep an eye on your cybersecurity health also acts as an additional control for protecting your systems and ensuring that your networks are secured.
Selecting an IT Provider That Is an Expert in HIPAA Compliance
When selecting an IT provider, it is important to select one that is knowledgeable in working with healthcare systems. Much like how healthcare providers specialize in different areas of their fields, so do IT providers! When it comes to HIPAA compliance, having an IT provider that specializes in cybersecurity and compliance is crucial. An IT provider can help with the development and implementation of a comprehensive cybersecurity plan, provide support for HIPAA-compliant email and messaging systems, and work as a supporting force to your HIPAA compliance officer. However, it is important to note that while your IT provider will provide support for your HIPAA compliance officer, they will not directly handle any HIPAA-related documents. However, if they come across any policy violations when working on your devices and networks, they will notify you of them so that the violation can be addressed and resolved.
HIPAA compliance is a complex process, so if you are in the process of selecting a new IT provider, you should ask questions related to your compliance needs to ensure that the provider is a good fit for your organization.
As you can see, cybersecurity measures are critical in helping healthcare organizations to stay in compliance with HIPAA. An experienced IT provider can work with your team to strengthen your level of digital protection, including the development and implementation of a strong cybersecurity system and employee security training. If you have not previously implemented a comprehensive cybersecurity plan, or if it has been a while since your current cybersecurity plan has been evaluated and updated, it is recommended that you take action to strengthen these measures to protect your systems and networks.
Need Computer Help is a managed IT services provider that specializes in cybersecurity and compliance. If you have further questions about implementing a cybersecurity plan to strengthen HIPAA compliance in your organization, or if you would like to receive a free IT assessment regarding your current cybersecurity plan, please reach out to our team of computer experts.