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3securityadvances

… in a COVID-19 World

Never let a good crisis go to waste. 

Whoever said it first (possibly Churchill, though it’s debated) understood a deeper truth about life, often missed in easier times: storms of crisis and suffering tend to shake us out of complacency, spurring us to seek change. 

Case in point: it goes without saying that COVID-19 has been the titanic struggle of the year (over 50 million cases globally, and counting) for individuals, families, and organizations. Yet while the losses have been great, the crisis has also challenged many to see their faith renewed, families brought closer, and their courage to “help others into the lifeboats” (think nurses and other first responders especially) pushed to beautiful new heights. 

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HIPAAenvironment

A HIPAA compliant environment is an essential part of protecting and preserving sensitive medical data in the face of increasing malicious attacks. HIPAA Vault’s multi-layered approach to managed security maximizes the protections and updates you need to keep your servers safe – essential for business processes and patient safety.

A multi-server approach segregates critical services and data, reducing the risk of a breach. This is crucial, particularly in light of a recent study which demonstrated that nearly a third of the healthcare databases surveyed were exposed to the internet and putting patient data at risk. 

 

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Wk4cybermonth

A seismic shift in healthcare is underway. The fascinating world of IoT technology – from wearables and smart phones, to telemedicine and a growing number of medical devices – is promoting more efficient healthcare. An increased focus on wellness and prevention is the desired result. 

At the epicenter of this digital transformation are 5G, improved software, and cloud services. Each brings flexible and scalable solutions to healthcare to accommodate this explosion of data, and does so more securely than existing IT services.

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Cybermthwk3

Nat'l. Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Wk.#3

We live in an amazing time, one in which a growing number of sophisticated, ‘internet of medical things’ (IoMT) are facilitating critical treatments to improve patient health. Consider just two: difficult-to-monitor, chronic conditions like diabetes and heart failure are benefitting from “smarter” insulin pumps and pacemakers – both aided by real-time, remote monitoring and feedback loops.

Faster data processing is key: imagine having instant access to your body’s most basic functions (your “vitals”) through an assortment of “wearables” that can monitor heart rate, breathing or respiration rate, glucose levels, and more. This important data, combined with immediate access to your medical history provides physicians the capability to quickly respond to critical alerts, without requiring an office visit. 

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Cybersecmonthwk2

Securing our Mobile Devices

No doubt, 2020 has disturbed the status quo in numerous ways, impacting our work, schooling, and social gatherings – even the way we receive our healthcare. 

And while the pandemic has hastened this transition to online health services – from telehealth to mobile health apps – a recent analysis notes how this change was already well underway, even before Covid-19 was a reality:  

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WK1cybersecmonth

If You Connect It, Protect It

October is National Cybersecurity month, and ‘If you connect it, protect it’ is the theme for week #1. (With over 90% of the US population now on the internet, the theme easily might have been ‘When you connect it, protect it’). 

It’s an apt reminder, as cyber criminals are capitalizing on the continuing explosion of data and connected devices: studies indicate that in 2016 organizations experienced a ransomware attack on the average of every 14 seconds; by 2021, it is estimated that frequency will be down to every 11 seconds. 

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HWPfordevelopers

Today’s healthcare organizations put a premium on positive engagement and patient satisfaction. As a healthcare website developer, you seek to foster this with flawless functionality and elegant features to improve the user’s experience.

You do this by clarifying your brand, and what sets it apart; highlighting the provider’s services clearly is also key. In the end, you hope to strengthen relationships and attract new clients, so the practice will thrive.

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03

All healthcare organizations, health app developers, and associated covered entities are responsible to protect sensitive, medical data. But will a simple software solution or training course be sufficient to make them HIPAA compliant?

Certainly, technology plays an important role. But HIPAA compliance depends on much more than the right security tools, or even obtaining a certification.

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Save lives

It’s Time to Reframe Cybersecurity as an Essential Part of Patient Care

Sadly, it’s happened: As reported in the New York Times, on September 10 a woman fighting for her life was turned away from the University Hospital, Düsseldorf because hospital servers were infected with ransomware. With vital systems crashing, emergency treatment could not be administered. By the time the woman could receive services – in another hospital, 20 miles away – the hour delay resulted in her death. 

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vigilant

A quick survey of 3 recent breaches - including one very high profile case -  reminds us to be especially vigilant to avoid these all-too-common scenarios with protected health information

Breach #1: PHI on paper – even in your personal briefcase – isn’t good protection, and can lead to a breach of PHI

The following breach serves as a case-in-point: On July 2, 2020, a doctor from Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa left a briefcase in his car – never a safe place for paper files with PHI to reside – and the briefcase was stolen.   

 

 

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