Maintaining data security in the healthcare sector is hard. Although all businesses worry about securing confidential data, it doesn’t compare to the burden of companies managing personal health information that must comply with the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other relevant regulations. Unfortunately, the sensitive nature of these assets makes them even more desirable to cybercriminals. The result: Patient health information is being targeted more frequently and more aggressively than ever before. Fortunately, the evolving IT landscape has provided a way to address these threats: proactive security monitoring to identify and mitigate potential risks and encryption to protect the data itself.
Outside attacks are only one aspect of the problem, however: Negligent insiders are also putting their organizations at risk. Studies have shown that roughly 94% of healthcare firms have experienced at least 1 data breach within the past 2 years. Because these incidents cost the industry upwards of $7 billion per year, administrators must proactively seek strategies that cut down the chances of unwanted security problems.
Financial repercussions of a data breach
Due to the regulations governing personal health information, the reputation damage and bottom-line costs of a data breach are often exacerbated by compliance fines. What is more troubling is that these costs are only increasing in frequency and severity. Experts believe that the financial repercussions of data breaches have increased by $400,000 between 2010 and 2012, with more than half of companies losing $500,000 or more in 2012. With the price tag expected to rise 10 percent year-over-year through 2016, businesses must plan ahead to reduce these challenges.
To illustrate the effect of data breaches on healthcare organizations and the magnitude of the response required, we’ve put together the following infographic, “Keep Your Patient Health Info Secure in the Cloud.” Part of our series of 60-second guides, the graphic will show you in only a minute why the cloud is powering new ways to secure some of the most personal information available: details about our health.
Feel free to download and share this infographic (of course, we’d appreciate a link back to this article if you decide to use it).
Acquiring new perspectives
Businesses struggling to combat cybercrime and the other forces driving data breach incidents should consider embracing proactive monitoring tools and mentalities. With new perspectives into IT networks and infrastructures, teams can gain visibility into potential weaknesses and make the necessary changes needed to combat risks.
Although proactive monitoring and encryption technologies may be able to prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing highly sensitive data, the most important action any company can take is to become more knowledgeable about how to thwart the evolving threat landscape. In many cases, organizations that schedule and actually follow through with annual security assessments will find it easier to embrace sophisticated solutions without introducing new, unwanted challenges. And in the long run, reducing costly security breaches is much easier when companies partner with a trusted service provider that offers the monitoring, expertise, and solutions needed to ensure compliance and mitigate risk.
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