Healthcare IT security is an ever-evolving landscape that often struggles to keep up with the demand and change in the digital realm. It’s far too easy to overlook small issues that could cause catastrophic consequences. However, as recent healthcare data breaches have reminded us, issues and data infiltrations can happen to any organization, which means security must always remain a priority.
Even with the right policies in place, a firewall, and strong network architecture, you could still be vulnerable to data attacks. We’ve rounded up four of the most common pitfalls in healthcare IT security to help you stay on the alert:
#1 – Not Leveraging Existing Tools
Are you fully aware of the security tools and diagnostics you already own? Are you using these tools to their highest potential?
In many cases, healthcare organizations aren’t fully aware of the tools and resources already available to them. Certain features can become disabled, which renders them useless. IT Personnel changes can lead to inconsistencies within the department, so new hires may not know what’s available to them.
Organizations should take care to review all tools, features, and programs already purchased or in place to give you a comprehensive view of what you already have and the gaps those tools leave to be filled.
#2 – Focusing on Security Spend Instead of Design
When healthcare organizations notice security issues, it’s too easy to throw money at the problem. It’s no secret that security upgrades and new technology are one of the major spending zones for healthcare, with budgets tending to rise about 8.8% each year. However, you could be spending more on things you don’t really need.
It’s not about how much money you spend fixing issues, but rather the potency of the overall security design.
Anthem is a classic example after having doubled its spending on cybersecurity, only to become one of the biggest healthcare data breaches in history.
There is no single tool that will protect your organization from becoming the next breach. Putting all your eggs in one IT security basket is not going to net you the best results. Rather, companies should look at their security challenges holistically (end-point stations, mobile devices, medical devices on the network, etc) and identify the proper tools and designs that will build a strong defense.
#3 – Not Integrating Healthcare IT Security with Company Culture
IT departments in healthcare have a tendency to design their security initiatives without realizing that other departments may be unable to move or adapt as quickly as necessary. Changes to security often require other users to test applications and projects, but IT departments’ timelines may not be realistic for others involved.
When planning any major changes to security, it’s important to recognize where participation is needed and others’ ability to provide that participation. Demanding deadlines and time frames won’t be able to deliver the highest quality end result.
#4 – Neglecting Ongoing Employee Security Training
Do your team members remember the security training session you held eight months ago? IT security is only a small portion of their jobs, which means their focus is largely on other areas of business. Creating departmental leads for security initiatives and holding ongoing training sessions are vital to healthcare IT security’s success.
Let Lifepoint Help You Fill Healthcare IT Security Gaps
Are you aware of any of the above gaps in your healthcare IT security? Now is a great time to review your IT security to ensure you can identify and fill as many gaps in defense as possible.
Lifepoint can partner with you to help create a more secure environment for your patient’s sensitive data. Contact us today to learn more about Lifepoint solutions and how we improve your organization’s data security.