Bring your own device (BYOD) programs offer efficiency and cost control for healthcare organizations. When employees use their own devices, they carry the cost of the phone or tablet, require little or no training, and handle the updates and maintenance. What comes as a great efficiency and convenience to the organization also carries a challenge: the security concerns surrounding devices that are only partially under the control of the organization.
It’s difficult for the IT team to designate what types of activities can occur on an employee’s device, and the security risks involved include malware and breaches, but also employee loss of the device or theft. In addition, employees may not be fully aware of the privacy regulations: an email with client information spotted on a smartphone screen with a long hibernation setting could expose critical data.
As a result of extensive security issues surrounding healthcare in general and BYOD programs specifically, healthcare organizations have to embrace a careful balance of connectivity and control among their teams. Here are four crucial steps for creating that balance:
Document users and mobile interactions. Determine what a workflow looks like for the employee. What applications do they access and what kind of access are they granted around the system? The goal is to allow the user to access what they need in the system while enveloping their interactions with a robust security approach.
Design a workflow that is secure but offers the connectivity they need. Once you understand the workforce in your organization and what they need to access, you can design a workflow with a good fit. At this stage, you may need to limit the types of devices you’ll allow into your BYOD program or which operating system you’ll support. Make these decisions within context of who your users are, what they’re doing with the device, and what they are trying to accomplish.
Consider Mobile Device Management (MDM) software. There is a set of solutions available that can help you balance connectivity with security. These tools help you manage the wealth of data that interacts with the cloud and ultimately your network, as well as create an integrated workflow that helps users connect with the resources they need.
Prioritize visibility in the network. Between remote users and cloud technology, your network has probably undergone some changes, or you have some planned in the near future. As you consider network solutions, prioritize visibility. You need to be able to detect when a physician copies a patient file and downloads it from a network folder to a personal device, for instance. Visibility also helps you isolate and address any security breach in a more timely manner.
To learn more about managing security for a BYOD program, contact us at SimpleWAN to talk further about MDM solutions or for guidance in creating a user workflow for an increasingly complex network environment.