For virtual care companies, securing patient data is of utmost importance. But how do you know if security practices are up to par?
Here are the top 10 best security practices for virtual care:
10. Security education – The high percentage of data breaches caused with some assistance of employees inside healthcare organizations shows that having a security-aware workforce is key to keeping data private. Employees should participate in regular training exercises to keep them knowledgeable about security best practices and evolving attacks.
9. Access auditing and restriction – The principle of least privilege involves providing employees with only the privileges necessary to complete a task. By limiting the number of people who can access privileged data, the risk of unintended leaks may be lessened. Regular access audits ensure that only employees who need access to patient data can access it.
8. Implementing data usage controls – Data usage controls can come in many forms such as detecting when an email contains protected information and encrypting it, requiring attached devices to use encryption and ensuring that laptops are secure and encrypted. These are just a few examples of data usage controls that ensure the enforcement of data privacy.
7. Logging and use monitoring –Actions within healthcare systems require traceability and transparency. Logging allows for tracking of data usage so that there is traceability to data events. The use of log aggregation services in conjunction with alarms provide a real-time security system for our data, alerting security personnel as threats are made and allowing for rapid remediation.
6. Encrypting data – The HIPAA security rule requires that data be encrypted in transit and at rest. It’s important to go to great lengths to ensure that the data is always encrypted.
5. Securing mobile devices – Our phones have become a convenient mechanism for connecting us and are powerful ways to be able to work on the go. They also require a thoughtful mobile device and application management policy that protects assets and decreases risk while still enabling productivity.
4. Mitigating connected device risk – Connected devices such as flash memory sticks can be a significant risk for data exfiltration, and care must be taken to ensure that if they are used, they are encrypted to protect any data that might be on them.
3. Conducting regular risk assessments – Having a third party inspect the security processes and measures through audits and assessments allows for continual improvement of security stance. Having a second set of eyes on things can provide assurance and bring awareness to actions which can decrease security risks.
2. Utilizing off-site data backup – In order to ensure that data is not subject to loss, it must be backed up. Additionally, restoration tests must be performed regularly to ensure that backups can be successfully restored if a disaster were to happen.
1. Business associate compliance evaluation and monitoring – Companies leveraging other companies as business partners in the healthcare space must ensure that those partners uphold the same security standards and procedures with documentation to prove it. A thorough annual review of partners’ security can provide insight into areas of concern and allow for further mitigation of any identified concerns.
First Stop Health has created a security-conscious culture in order to ensure that sensitive data patients have entrusted us with, remains private. The individual activities listed here all work together to add layers of protection to prevent security issues from popping up, and also work to continually identify and improve concerns as they are recognized.