Healthcare data encryption has become a popular option for protecting sensitive medical information. The need for encryption has become more prevalent with the rapid increase in the number of practices using EMRs, mobile devices, and transmitting patient healthcare information (PHI) by email.

What Is Healthcare Data Encryption?

Health data encryption occurs when data is converted into encoded and unreadable text in order to make the information inaccessible without a decryption key. Encryption helps protect patient health information when it’s transmitted from one user to another.

PHI has become a target of hackers in recent times, and this data must be safeguarded from unauthorized persons. In large organizations that permit doctors to use smartphones and tablets, encryption is an important means of keeping data secure.

Benefits of Encryption

  • It allows you to easily comply with HIPAA technical safeguards for health data security.
  • Encryption makes data more secure, whether it’s being transported or at rest.
  • Encrypted data retains its integrity. Even when a hacker tries to alter it in transit, the recipient will know that it has been corrupted.
  • It protects patients’ private and personal information from theft.
  • It protects data when users have to use different types of devices. It can be combined with advanced authentication to make the data more secure.
  • Encryption prevents costly data breaches. If criminals gain access to a removable device, mobile device, or laptop that has sensitive information, your facility may be penalized with huge fines.

How to Use Encryption Effectively

Data in motion and data at rest or in storage needs to be encrypted to prevent unauthorized access. Here are some tips to help you encrypt sensitive data effectively.

  • Risk assessment: Conduct a regular security risk assessment to know where and how encryption will be most beneficial.
  • Minimize cost: Use existing system features for encryption to prevent extensive modification of your existing IT infrastructure.
  • Avoid BYOD: BYOD means “bring your own device.” It may add user convenience, but it introduces a lot of loopholes for data breaches. So. you should only use personal end-user devices when there are insufficient official devices available.
  • Key management: Make it possible to recover encrypted data if a key is destroyed or it becomes temporarily unavailable.
  • Mandatory encryption on user devices: Consider encrypting data on all removable media and external devices to protect PHI.
  • Use Appropriate encryption technology: Encrypting and decrypting data can slow down data processing. So, it’s vital to choose the type of encryption that secures information without making the network slow and inefficient.

Do You Need to Know More About Health Data Encryption?

Give us a call now at 877.522.8378 to discover how to secure your health IT data with encryption. We’ll schedule a free consultation for you and provide answers to all your questions.