Healthcare cyber security is evolving to protect data while giving employees access to the data they need.CIOs at healthcare organizations are facing a daunting task: managing privacy regulations, handling an overflow of data, and balancing each of these with healthcare cyber security in a setting where the network perimeter has all but dissolved. As more healthcare providers are accessing cloud technology, they must navigate how to provide access to necessary data while protecting the network and adhering to regulations.

The strategy for managing healthcare cyber security is to focus on a data-centric strategy, rather than a network-centered plan. It’s important, first, to be sure that the cloud providers you use are using a security approach that protects your data assets and patient information. Second, you leverage authentication and authorization to allow users access to a particular set of data so that you can control what they can and can’t use.

Healthcare providers face a challenge in providing partners access to the information they need for seamless patient care, but while also protecting patient privacy and adhering to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA) regulations. Here are a few of the specific ways that these issues affect healthcare cyber security:

Getting control of data sprawl: Like any other industry, healthcare is benefiting from the wealth of data available to improve patient care and business processes. The challenge is storing and making sense of all the data to mobilize it for better service. One strategy that can help healthcare providers control data sprawl is using a single application to house medical records. This eliminates questions related to determining which system is the source of truth and which data is the most up to date.

Managing role-based access: Healthcare organizations can approach security with a role-based strategy that grants access based on identifiers such as job title. It’s also helpful to set up additional, behavior-based parameters. For instance, if an employee typically handles 100 records a day and makes some sort of edit in each one, but then that number jumps into the thousands on a single day and no edits are made, this may be a sign of data mining for identify theft.

Leveraging data from wearables: The proliferation of devices, including wearables, adds another layer to healthcare cyber security, because those devices are interacting with cloud applications and introducing more security access points. Data verification is a concern as well, because while a wearable may provide helpful broad information over time, it’s questionable whether a single reading on a device is as accurate as a reading taken by a nurse in person.

Verifying security for Internet of Things (IoT) devices: The addition of medical devices that are equipped with sensors and are directly connected to the network has added complexity to security concerns. While these devices are useful for improving patient care, IT is still grappling with the right network infrastructure to segment this traffic and prevent a lost or stolen device from causing a serious breach.

If you’re a healthcare provider navigating questions of healthcare cyber security and privacy regulations, contact us at SimpleWAN. We offer network solutions that can minimize security risk and add visibility to your infrastructure.